Incentives may help counter vaccine hesitancy, sociologist says

Published May 27, 2021, 12:52 PM

by Gabriela Baron

Incentive programs may help counter coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine hesitancy among Filipinos, a sociologist said Thursday, May 27.

Hundreds of residents from Cebu City who are under A1, A2, A3 priority lists which refer to medical frontliners, senior citizens, and people with comorbidities line up to receive Pfizer vaccines at the University of Cebu on May 19, 2021 (JUAN CARLO DE VELA / MANILA BULLETIN)

On May 20, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey revealed that only 32 percent of adult Filipinos are willing to receive free COVID-19 vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“Dalawang klase po yung ating hesitancy, yung isa medikal kung saan yung kababayan natin medyo may alinlangan sa ano ba yung epekto ng bakuna, gaano ba ka-safe, may matagalan bang epekto sa kalusugan nila. Yun po yung isa sa mga konsiderasyon nila kung bakit hindi pa sigurado kung gusto nilang magpabakuna (There are two kinds of hesitancy, the medical one where there are skeptical about the effects of the vaccine, how safe they are, or if they have a long-term effect on their health. That’s one of their considerations as to why they are not sure if they want to get vaccinated),” Maria Carinne Alejandrina, Health and Technology Assessment Council Member, said during the Laging Handa briefing.

“Yung isang grupo, hindi naman po medikal yung kanilang rason. Hindi lang po nila nakikitaan pa ng agarang pangangailangan para magpabakuna (Meanwhile, the other group’s reason is not medical. They just don’t see the immediate need to get vaccinated),” she added.

Alejandrina said offering people incentives after receiving COVID-19 shots may help boost vaccine trust.

“Yung pag-incentivize gaya ng pagbigay ng libreng produkto, discounts para sa mga tao na nagpabakuna. Ito po kasi ang posible na makatulong din para makapagkumbinsi sa mga tao para magpabakuna (Incentivization such as providing free products, offering discounts for people who got vaccinated. This would help convince people to get vaccinated),” the expert underscored.

As of May 25, 4,495,375 vaccine doses have been administered nationwide, the Department of Health (DOH) reported.

Of the figure, 3,466,314 Filipinos received their first dose so far; while 1,029,061 got their second dose already.

 
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