Vaccines to bring zombie apocalypse? Vaccine hesitancy down but fake news abounds

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 27 2022 11:37 AM

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Vaccine hesitancy is down among Filipinos, according to a top government official except that many are still unwilling to get jabbed because of fake news on social media. 

An OCTA Research Group study showed that of 1,200 adult Filipinos surveyed, the number of those unwilling to get the jab has dropped to 5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021 from 22 percent in the previous quarter.

OCTA Research said some 89 percent of adult Filipinos in total are willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, higher than the 61 percent of Filipinos willing to get vaccinated in the third quarter.

In an interview, Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that while vaccine hesitancy has dropped, there are still many who are unwilling to get the COVID-19 vaccines. 

"Sa baba kasi, marami pa rin ang matitigas ang ulo...Ayaw nilang magpabakuna for whatever reason. Yung iba nga naniniwala na magiging zombie sila. Fake news, sobra kasing nagkalat ang materyales sa social media at malakas ang anti-vaxx campaign sa abroad. Sa US maraming ayaw magpabakuna," he said in a TeleRadyo interview. 

He noted that in Germany, vaccine skeptics have called for protests as the lower house of parliament prepared to debate proposals to either require or robustly encourage residents to be vaccinated.

"Buti nga dito sa atin more of vaccine hesitancy and vaccine hesitation," he noted. 

In the interview, Malaya said the government made the right decision to keep businesses running despite a surge in COVID infections due to the omicron variant. 

"Itong omicron less ang epekto sa tao, mild lamang. Tama ang Alert Level system na bukas ang ekonomiya," he said. 

He pointed that other countries in Europe have adopted a similar policy.

"Let the healthcare system worry about it. Live with the virus, yun na ang polisiya ng ibang bansa sa Europa. Tingnan natin kung ganun din ang magiging polisiya natin moving forward," he said.