Vaccine skepticism is decreasing, the latest survey of pollster Social Weather Stations showed with fewer adult Filipinos unwilling to get immunized against COVID-19.
The SWS survey from December 12 to 16 showed that 8 percent of adult Filipinos said they did not want to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The number is down from 18 percent in September, 21 percent in June, and 33 percent in May.
The December 2021 survey also found only 6 percent saying they were uncertain about getting vaccinated, down from the 19 percent in September 2021, 24 percent in June 2021, and 35 percent in May 2021.
On the other hand, the December survey found 50 percent of adults got at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This total consists of 38 percent reporting they received two doses of the vaccine and 13 percent received one dose.
Of those unvaccinated, the December 2021 survey found 35 percent willing to get vaccinated, consisting of 33 percent, saying they would surely get vaccinated and 3 percent saying they would probably get vaccinated.
SWS noted that vaccine skepticism declined in all areas: from 7 percent to 4 percent in Metro Manila, 15 percent to 8 percent in Balance Luzon, 24 percent to 15 percent in Visayas, and from 25 percent to 8 percent in Mindanao.
While skepticism is less among the better educated, the percentage of those unwilling to get vaccinated fell from September 2021 to December 2021 in all educational groups, the SWS survey noted.
The survey said the percentage of those unwilling to get inoculated decreased to single-digit levels in all age groups, except among those 55 years old and above.
SWS said the survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews of 1,440 adults, subdivided into 360 each for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao.
In related developments, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon called on President Rodrigo Duterte to direct Public Attorneys Office Chief Persida Acosta to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
An unvaccinated Acosta said she would not get the jab as she had many comorbidities.
Drilon said before the President can convince the Filipino people to get the vaccine, he must first convince each member of his administration, including Acosta, to get the shot.
“Otherwise, the credibility of your vaccination programs will suffer and people will be more reluctant to get the shots,” he said.
Acosta’s colleagues in government, including Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, had also called on the PAO chief to get vaccinated.
Drilon said Acosta could raise all legal issues as long as she wanted “but the issue here that she failed to realize is she is a member of the administration and is bound to follow the policy of the government.”
“Acosta can cite all the provisions in the Constitution and the law and we are prepared to counter that,” said Drilon. “However, to me, it’s not just an issue of legality. The more pressing issue here is the credibility of the government’s vaccination program.”
A recent report published by the World Bank’s Philippine office claimed that “vaccination [in the Philippines] continued to lag regional peers.
A Goldman Sachs study also showed that the Philippines was among Asia-Pacific’s laggards in mass vaccination, with only 54 percent of its population fully vaccinated as of January 13, while China has a vaccination rate of 90 percent; Singapore, 89 percent; South Korea, 87 percent; Australia, Japan, and Vietnam, 80 percent; Malaysia and Taiwan, 79 percent; New Zealand, 78 percent; Thailand, 73 percent; Hong Kong, 67 percent; India, 65 percent, and Indonesia, 63 percent.