More than 50 percent of adult Filipinos find the pace of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program slow, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
The SWS poll also observed that 35 percent of the respondents said it is somewhat slow and 15 percent said it was too slow. Forty-five percent said its pace was all right.
The poll body conducted face-to-face interviews involving 1,200 Filipino adults nationwide from June 23 to 26. Respondents were asked, “How would you describe the current pace of vaccination in the following areas: In your Barangay; In your City/Municipality; In the Philippines? Would you say that the current pace of vaccination is All right, Somewhat slow, or Too slow?”
The survey also noted that complaints about the slow pace of vaccination are more frequent among those with either difficult or no access to a vaccination site.
The vaccination pace in respondents’ own barangay is considered slow by 69 percent among those with difficult access to a vaccination site and 59 percent among those without access, compared to 47 percent among those with easy access.
In their own city or municipality, the pace of vaccination is considered slow by 60 percent among those with difficult access to a vaccination site and 50 percent among those without access, compared to 41 percent among those with easy access.
The pace of vaccination in the Philippines as a whole is considered slow by 64 percent among those with difficult access to a vaccination site, compared to 50 percent among those with no access at all and 49 percent among those with easy access.
However, easy access to a COVID-19 vaccination site is higher in Metro Manila and among the more educated groups with 83 percent, followed by Mindanao (71 percent), the Visayas (67 percent), and Balance Luzon (62 percent).
On the other hand, those without access to a vaccination site are highest in Balance Luzon (35 percent), followed by the Visayas (29 percent), Mindanao (26 percent), and Metro Manila (16 percent).
Malacanang vowed to ramp up the government’s vaccination program to achieve population protection against COVID-19.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement in response to the SWS findings.
“While much has been achieved since we began, we recognize that much more needs to be done. The same SWS survey reveals that there are areas that still have no access to a vaccination site and/or have a slow pace of vaccination,” he said.
“To improve access to and pace of vaccination, we are addressing vaccine supplies by procuring more vaccines, increasing personnel or vaccinators by considering pharmacists and medical interns and having barangay health centers as vaccination sites,” he added.
The government rolled out its vaccination program against COVID-19 on March 1, 2021.
As of August 16, the country has administered 28,308,493 COVID-19 vaccine doses with 12,743,082 individuals receiving a second shot.
The National Capital Region Police Office, meanwhile, said it has deployed 10,000 policemen to escort and secure the transportation and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to their intended destinations in Metro Manila.
“In the midst of the pandemic we are experiencing, we are not discounting the threat of terrorism and the idea of possible sabotage in our government’s mass vaccination campaign,” said NCRPO director Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr.
Also on Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration said the government is considering allowing people who have been unable to get a second dose of the Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine to get two doses of a different brand.
Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute is having difficulties delivering the second-dose vaccines, leaving those who were jabbed with the first dose waiting.
In a radio interview, FDA Director General Eric Domingo said one way to address the problem is to allow those who are still waiting for the second dose to get inoculated with two doses using another brand.