There's a near universal fear among Filipinos of getting sick with COVID-19 while a majority say they will refuse a vaccine because they are unsure of its safety, according to a Pulse Asia survey.
Polled from Feb. 22 to Mar. 3, 94% of 2,400 adults said they were worried about catching the virus. The survey period ended just days before the surge in infections that prompted a quarantine bubble in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces.
On Friday, the DOH reported nearly 10,000 new infections, pushing the total active cases past the 100,000-mark. In four of the last seven days, the Philippines reported a record-high in daily infections. The surge has been blamed on the emergence of more contagious virus variants.
COVID SURGE TOP STORIES:
Asked if they will get vaccinated if jabs were available, 16% said yes, 61% said no, while 23% said they couldn't say yet. The ratios were identical across all regions.
Of the 61% who said they would refuse a vaccine, 84% said they were not sure that it's safe. Of the 23% who were undecided, 74% cited safety concerns.
Since March, the Philippines has administed 508,332 of the roughly 1.4 million doses of donated Sinovac and AstraZeneca jabs from China and the global vaccine alliance COVAX, respectively.
Tens of millions of commercial orders are expected to arrive by April or March at the earliest, authorities said. Only then could a mass vaccination proceed as the current rollout prioritizes frontliners.
COVID VACCINES EXPLAINED:
Awareness of vaccines from the U.S., Russia, the UK, China and India were all above 90%. Trust was highest in the U.S. (44%) and lowest in China (10%) and India (11%).
Of the 16% who said they were willing to get vaccinated, 52% said they trust the Pfizer vaccine while 22% said they trust the Sinovac jab.
So far, only four vaccines have been authorized by the FDA for emergency use in the Philippines: Pfizer, Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Sputnik V from Russia's Gamaleya.
VACCINE BRANDS EXPLAINED: