Hesitancy towards COVID-19 vaccines continues to drop—DOH exec

Published February 20, 2022, 4:34 PM

by Analou de Vera

Coronavirus vaccines have been prepared for distribution at a vaccination site in Manila on May 18, 2021. (Ali Vicoy/Manila Bulletin)

The number of Filipinos who are unwilling to receive the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines is declining, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said.

DOH Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said that about 10 percent of the population remain skeptical about getting vaccinated.

“At the start talaga, since last year, meron talagang hesitancy yan na mga 30 percent. Although bumaba na ngayon, mga nasa 10 percent na lang (there was really a hesitancy of about 30 percent. Although it has dropped now, it is only around 10 percent),” he said during an interview with DZBB radio on Sunday, Feb. 20.

“Meron talagang 10 percent sa population na medyo anti-vax talaga at medyo hard line. So ayun yung kailangan na ma [encourage], kaya ginagawa namin ang lahat ng paraan para magkaroon ng access ang lahat ng mga tao for vaccination (There remains about 10 percent of the population that are quite anti-vax and a bit hard line. So, we need to encourage them. We’re doing everything we can to make sure all people have access for vaccination),” he added.

The DOH defined vaccine hesitancy as the “delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccination services.”

Meanwhile, Vega said that most regions in the country already covered 60 percent of their respective target population for vaccination.

“Malakas na din ang vaccination natin. Umaabot na tayo ng more than 60 percent sa lahat ng mga regions. Although meron talagang mabababa pa rin na below 60 percent, pero mabibilang mo nalang, siguro three to four regions nalang ang maghahabol to 60 percent (Our vaccination rate is now high. We’re now able to reach over 60 percent in the regions. Although there are still those that have below 60 percent [coverage]. Only a few regions, maybe only three to four, that are still seeking to achieve the 60 percent [coverage]),” he added.

On Saturday, the DOH said more than 62 million Filipinos are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

READ: Over 62M Filipinos fully vaccinated vs COVID-19—DOH