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OCTA Poll: 61% Willing To Get Vaccinated; Hesitancy Higher Among Poor

OCTA Poll: 61% Willing To Get Vaccinated; Hesitancy Higher Among Poor
Vendors, delivery drivers and others who work at the night market in Divisoria, Manila wait for their turn to get inoculated with COVID-19 vaccine on July 5, 2021. Photo by Miguel de Guzman, The Philippine STAR

While more than half of Filipinos are willing or have already been vaccinated against COVID-19, a survey conducted by the OCTA Research Group showed that hesitancy is higher among those identified in the lower socio-economic classes.

The survey, conducted from Sept. 11 to 16 with the results released on Friday, Oct. 22, showed that 29% of respondents belonging to class E and 22% of those in class D are not willing to get vaccinated.

In contrast, only 5% of those in class ABC said they will not get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The survey also showed that vaccine hesitancy is highest among respondents in the Visayas at 32%, followed by 24% in Balance Luzon, 19% in Mindanao and 5% in Metro Manila.

Asked why for their reason, 64% of those who said they are unwilling to get vaccinated cited the safety of the COVID-19 jabs.

Another 14% said they are not sure if these are effective, while 9% had pre-existing conditions, pregnant or breastfeeding.

Others said a vaccine is not needed to fight COVID-19 (7%), while there are those who cited deaths (5%), fear of injections (4%) and not needing jabs as they do not leave their homes (3%).

With the accelerated rollout of vaccines in the provinces, OCTA fellow Ranjit Rye said the government must scale up its information drive to reduce the resistance of citizens towards vaccination.

“The goal is for the government to fully vaccinate as many Filipinos to reduce the vulnerability of the country to the disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 virus,” he said.

61% willing

Based on the survey, 61% of the 1,200 respondent said they are willing (24%) or have already been vaccinated (36%) against COVID-19.

This is five points lower than the 66% obtained in a similar survey conducted last July (53% willing, 13% already vaccinated).

The total number of respondents not willing to get vaccinated increased from 16% to 22%, while those who were undecided remained at 18%.

Across geographic areas, willingness to get vaccinated remained the highest among those in Metro Manila (8% willing, 85% vaccinated), followed by Mindanao (35% willing, 36% vaccinated), rest of Luzon (24% willing, 27% vaccinated) and the Visayas (23% willing, 24% vaccinated).

Those in class ABC had the highest number of respondents willing to get vaccinated (23% willing, 63% vaccinated), followed by those in class D (24% willing, 35% vaccinated) and class E (28% willing, 26% vaccinated).


Breakthrough cases

Among the 36% who were already vaccinated, OCTA said 16% had their first doses during the survey period, while 21 percent already received two doses.

Only 3% of those who were completely vaccinated said they tested positive for COVID-19 after completing the required doses.

“One can argue that vaccines do work and that breakthrough infections are as the Department of Health has asserted: a minority of the cases at this time,” said Rye.

The survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adult Filipino respondents, with a margin of error of +/-three percent for national percentages at 95 percent confidence level.