Malacañang is hoping to see an increase in the number of Filipinos willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine once it arrives in the country, saying it is a priority program of the government.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that 66 percent of Filipinos are willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine if it was available now.
The national mobile phone survey was conducted from Sept. 17 to 20 and covered 1,249 adult Filipinos across the country.
In a statement, Roque said that the Palace was pleased with the result of the survey because it shows that many people trust the government.
“We are pleased with the results of the SWS National Mobile Phone Survey showing 66 percent of adult Filipinos are willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said.
“We view this as a positive development as this means that more Filipinos trust the current government’s vaccination program,” he added.
However, Roque said the Palace is hoping that the rest of the country would change their mind and opt to get the vaccine against COVID-19.
“We, however, hope there will be a significant increase in the number of Filipinos willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine as President Duterte wants all Filipinos to get vaccines, with priority given to the poor, indigents and other vulnerable sectors,” he said.
Based on the SWS survey, 32 percent of Filipinos said they will definitely get the vaccine while 34 percent said they would probably get it.
Meanwhile, 31 percent are not willing to get the vaccine; 14 percent of which said they would probably not get it, and 17 percent remain unsure.
Malacañang announced Thursday that President Duterte has finally agreed to make advance payments to companies making the vaccine after initially slamming Western pharmaceutical companies for seeking what he called “reservation fees.”
“Alam ko po noong una ayaw ni Presidente ‘yan pero noong nakuha po niya yung listahan ng mga bansang nag-a-advance payment, hindi naman tayo magpapahuli (I know the President was against it at first but when he saw the list of countries who are giving advance payments, we cannot allow that we will go last),” Roque said.
The Palace official likewise announced that the President will issue an executive order allowing the emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines.