Nograles says vaccine confidence among health workers is rising

Published March 9, 2021, 6:44 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

More health care workers are saying yes to getting vaccinated against the coronavirus in the country.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

According to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, health frontliners have started to become confident in taking the coronavirus vaccines since the government started the rollout of the preventive drug early this month.

An increasing number of health workers is signing up for vaccination based on recent reports from hospitals, Nograles pointed out.

“We’re seeing an uptick of Filipinos who are now confident enough to take the vaccines,” said Nograles, co-chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

Nograles said some medical frontlines were initially reluctant to get vaccinated due to concerns about the first batch of vaccines that arrived in the country last week.

The vaccine hesitancy however seemed to decline as more hospitals have started requesting for vaccine supplies for their personnel, he added.

“At the start, we’re seeing some hesitancy. But now mataas na (the demand is high). Hospitals now are asking us for more doses already,” Nograles said during a media interview. “So, we’re seeing a lot of our healthcare workers who are already more open to taking the vaccine,” he added.

The country initially received 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines donated by China last Feb. 28.

The government’s vaccination drive was launched the next day, initially offering the vaccines to health workers.

More than 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility have also arrived to boost the country’s supply.

So far, the Palace said over 35,000 health workers have been given free inoculations under the government’s program.

Nograles said health frontliners will remain the “ultimate priority” in the vaccination line to ensure their protection from the illness.

The government’s strict enforcement of the priority list would ensure the country will be prioritized by the WHO in its vaccine allocations, he added.