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Filipinos More Willing to Get COVID-19 Vaccine than Dengvaxia: Poll

The Dengvaxia scare still haunts Filipinos.
by Arianne Merez
Nov 20, 2020
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano

More Filipinos are willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine than Dengvaxia, results of a Social Weather Stations poll released Friday showed, underscoring the lasting effect of the dengue vaccine pullout.

Majority of respondents in the Sept. 17-20 poll (66%) said they were willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine if it were available now, SWS said.

This compared to a SWS survey in 2019 that showed the majority of Filipinos (62%), believe that Dengvaxia should be prohibited in the Philippines.

"This shows that Filipinos are more willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine than they were to get Dengvaxia," the pollster said.

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The dengue immunization program using Dengvaxia, made by France's Sanofi Pasteur, was shelved in 2017 after it was found that the drug led to more severe dengue symptoms to those who have not had dengue before they were innoculated.

The Department of Health has said in the past that the Dengvaxia scandal contributed to public distrust in vaccines. In the years that followed, the country saw the resurgence of polio and measles -- diseases that can be prevented by vaccines.

Dengvaxia however remains in the market, not just in the Philippines. There has also been no established proof that it is fatal. 

Men, youth more interested in COVID-19 vaccine

The SWS said willingness to be inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine is higher among men (71%) than among women (60%).

Individuals belonging to younger age groups also showed higher interest compared to those in older age groups.

Interest is highest among the 25 to 34-year-olds (70%) followed by those included in the 18-24 age bracket(68%). Interest was lowest among the 35-44-year-olds (61%).

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Willingness to get a COVID-19 vaccine also cuts across different educational backgrounds, the SWS said, as survey results showed that majority are interested in getting themselves inoculated with the drug.

Data from clinical trials have shown that two vaccines -- one developed by Pfizer and BioNtech, the other by Moderna and the U.S. National Institutes of Health -- are about 95% effective, raising hopes that the end of the pandemic is in sight.

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