Half of 15,600 Filipinos willing to be vaccinated; no preferred COVID-19 vaccine — online survey

Published February 3, 2021, 10:11 AM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

An online survey conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) has shown that only 56 percent of Filipinos were willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The UST-CoVAX Vaccine Awareness Team, led by Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, surveyed about 15,600 respondents in January to find out the beliefs and perceptions of the Filipino people regarding the COVID-19 vaccines.


Of the 56 percent who said they are willing to be vaccinated, 24 percent answered “definitely yes,” while 32 percent said “probably yes.”

Meanwhile, about 10 percent said they were not willing to be vaccinated, composed of 3.5 percent saying “definitely no” and 6.7 percent saying “probably no.”

Thirty-four percent of the respondents were “unsure” whether they want to receive a vaccine or not.

In a DZMM Teleradyo interview, Austriaco pointed out that those who said they were unsure, where either nervous or scared to get inoculated against COVID-19.

He underscored the government’s role to convince Filipinos that getting inoculated is safe.

“Remember, we have to vaccinate 100 percent of Filipinos to end this pandemic. Fifty percent is not good enough. We have to work to convince more of them to want to be vaccinated. Our survey showed that many are scared about the vaccine and its safety. They are worried that it will not work or make them sick. They are worried about fake vaccines. There are many worries so the government has to reassure us all that the worries are not real. That they are worth the risk for our families,” he explained.

“I am hoping that the DOH in its public awareness campaign will help provide information for that. So my team at UST-COVAX, we are already preparing public awareness campaign,” he added.

Austriaco said he is currently in the United States where he got in touch with Filipino frontliners in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut who have been already vaccinated.

“I am asking them to help explain to the Filipinos, to their kababayans (countrymen) back in the Philippines that it was okay. We are getting testimonies from OFWs and overseas Filipinos who have been vaccinated to explain what it was like to be vaccinated,” he said.

Austriaco said he already had his first dose of Moderna vaccine. “The day after I slept all day and I had chills for 30 minutes but that was it,” he pointed.

Also in the UST-CoVAX online survey, 50.9 percent of Filipinos said they have no specific preference about which coronavirus vaccine they will take.

“We asked them, do you prefer the Chinese, Russian, or European/Western?,” Austriaco said.

“Basically, 1 percent preferred Chinese, 2.3 percent preferred Russian, 45.7 percent preferred from US or Europe, and 50.9 percent have no preferrence (they will take anything safe and effective),” he said.

Austriaco is a UST visiting professor of biological sciences and also a professor of biology at Providence College in the United States and a fellow of independent group of experts OCTA Research.