Town hall meetings increase public’s trust on COVID-19 vaccine — DILG

Published March 7, 2021, 10:29 AM

by Chito Chavez

More people now want to be inoculated with the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) vaccine after a series of town hall meetings conducted to educate the public on the benefits of the vaccine, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Sunday, March 7.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) (MANILA BULLETIN)

DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya cited the two surveys conducted by the DILG for participants of the town hall meetings, one is conducted before the meeting while the other one was right after, which showed an increase of those who want to be vaccinated after the meeting.

During the first DILG webinar with the Luzon Cluster of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), the pollsters found that those who will likely get vaccinated grew from 67 percent to 83 percent after the webinar. Those who said they won’t get vaccinated slipped from eight percent to four percent while those who were undecided also decreased from 26 percent to 12 percent.

He added that in the BFP and BJMP Visayas Cluster, 75 percent of the webinar participants are highly likely to get the vaccine, eight percent are not likely and 18 percent are unsure while in the Mindanao cluster, 88 percent are highly likely to get the shots, one percent are not likely and 11 percent are still unsure.

The DILG official noted that the results of the very first Town Hall for the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) revealed that those who are highly likely to get vaccinated increased from 84 percent to 94 percent after the webinar; those not likely to be vaccinated shrank from two percent to one percent and the remaining percentage were unsure of getting the COVID-19 jab.

Similarly, Malaya disclosed that the Town Hall with the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) yielded the following results: those highly likely to get vaccinated grew from 67 percent to 83 percent after the webinar; those who said no remained at four percent while those unsure plunged from 29 percent to 13 percent.

Citing DOH data, Malaya said that even the town hall with the pharmacists resulted in similar gains in demand generation. Those who said yes rose from 58 percent to 88 percent; those who said no fell from 10 percent to three percent and those who were not sure decreased from 33 percent to only nine percent.

Malaya also urged all local government units (LGUs) to conduct their own town hall sessions and community engagement activities in their respective LGUs utilizing expert speakers from the local medical community.

“Now that the vaccines have arrived, all LGUs should start conducting town hall meetings, barangay assemblies to increase demand and vaccine confidence in the grassroots,” Malaya said.

Malaya remains hopeful that the series of DILG-DOH town hall webinars will create a “ripple of effects into the overall Filipino population.’’ (Chito A. Chavez)