OCTA Research: 'Significant' COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Visayas, Mindanao must be addressed

Published October 27, 2021, 4:25 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

(ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)

Independent research group OCTA noted a “significant” vaccine hesitancy against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Visayas and Mindanao, which, if not addressed, may push back the gains made through the country’s vaccination program.

“When we surveyed vaccine coverage and confidence, what we saw was that, based on the data, there’s significant vaccine hesitancy in parts of Visayas and Mindanao regions, especially in the rural areas and especially in socio-economic classes D and E,” OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said in an ANC interview on Wednesday, Oct. 27.

“I think that’s where we need to focus our messaging that vaccines are safe because some of these people believe that vaccines are not safe,” he added.

Aside from following the minimum public health protocols, David cited the importance of vaccination to sustain the downward trend in COVID-19 cases in the country.

“We still need testing, we still need to vaccinate more people. Although the coverage in the NCR (National Capital Region) is very high already, I think we’re almost at 8 million people vaccinated in the NCR, the coverage in provinces is not yet that high. We still need to address these concerns,” he said.

“It’s not just a supply issue, based on our surveys, there is a significant hesitancy in many provinces outside the NCR. We need to address these concerns because vaccination is important moving forward. Even though we have contained the pandemic, the threats are still there. If we vaccinate more people the threats will be lessened,” he added.

In his update via Twitter on Wednesday, David noted that the country’s daily average of new COVID-19 cases has decreased to 4,848 during the Oct. 20-26 period.

“The last time cases were this low was on March 12 to 18,” he pointed out.

David added that the country’s COVID-19 reproduction number or the rate of virus transmission was at 0.52.

“Based on the current trends, daily cases could decrease to less than 2,000 by end of November,” he said.

“In order to sustain the lower trends, we still have to follow protocols, we still have to follow the measures that are in place,” he added.

 
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