Online survey: Around 9 out of 10 Filipinos worried about COVID-19 vaccine safety, authenticity

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 3) — An online survey spearheaded by University of Santo Tomas researchers shows around 9 out of 10 Filipinos have many concerns about the Covid vaccines.

A high percentage of respondents from the UST-CoVAX research are worried on COVID-19 vaccines' effects (92.7%), efficacy (90.3%), safety (91.7%), and high cost (82.3%).

The study, conducted from January 16-30 this year, revealed almost all of the over 15,600 respondents are also wary on fake vaccines (98%), vaccines being made too quickly (80.2%), vaccines not tested properly (83.5%), and ineffective vaccines against variants (84.5%).

The UST-CoVAX open-access and online-based study also showed around 77.2% of the respondents want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine only "after many people have received the vaccine," while 71.6% will get inoculated "after politicians receive the vaccine."

On vaccine brand confidence, around 75.3% are confident of getting immunized with COVID-19 vaccines made in the United States and Europe. Only 38.6% said they are confident with Russia-made COVID-19 vaccines and 17.7% on those made in China.

The survey also showed almost 51% of the respondents do not prefer any COVID-19 vaccine brand and will use those which are safe and effective.

The research also found that only 56% of over 15,600 respondents are willing to get inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines.

Of the 56%, about 5,017 respondents or 32.1% answered "probably yes" if they will use a COVID-19 vaccine available in the country. Around 3,701 respondents or 23.7% chose the "definitely yes" option in the survey conducted by the UST-CoVAX research team.

Some 5,304 respondents or 34% are unsure if they want to be vaccinated for COVID-19. About 1,042 respondents or 6.7% answered "probably no" and 541 respondents or 3.5% answered "definitely no."

Past surveys showed a lot of Filipinos are still hesitant in getting vaccinated for COVID-19.

In the latest Social Weather Stations survey released last January 7, around 47% of the respondents said they do not want to be vaccinated even if the doses are already available. Only 1/3 or 32% of the respondents said they are willing to be vaccinated, while 21% are undecided.

An independent survey made by the OCTA Research team found that only 25% of respondents in Metro Manila are willing to get an anti-coronavirus vaccine shot when the vaccine becomes available in the country.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the Philippine government is aiming to vaccinate at least 50 million to 70 million Filipinos this year, prioritizing frontliners and other members of vulnerable sectors of the society.

So far, the government has granted Emergency Use Authority to two companies for the COVID-19 vaccines in the country. These are US drugmaker Pfizer-BioNTech and the UK's AstraZeneca.