'Significant' vaccine hesitancy noted in Visayas, Mindanao: OCTA

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 27 2021 02:05 PM

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MANILA – There is 'significant' hesitancy towards the COVID-19 vaccine in Visayas and Mindanao, OCTA Research said Wednesday.

“When we surveyed vaccine coverage and you know, 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,” Prof. Guido David said.

“So 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."

The professor noted that COVID-19 case numbers are going down in the country.

“In fact the seven-day average in the country is 4,848. And this is in-fact the lowest seven-day average since March 12-18, which is actually when the alpha and beta surge was just starting to happen.”

He stressed, however, that vaccination—along with following minimum public health standards—is key to containing the spread of COVID in the country.

“We’re on the right track, we still need testing, we still need to vaccinate more people and although the coverage in the NCR is very high already, I think we’re almost at 8 million people vaccinated in the NCR, the coverage in the provinces is not yet that high so we still need to address these concerns,” he said.

“It’s not just a supply issue. What we’re seeing in fact and based on our surveys, there is a significant hesitancy in many provinces, outside the NCR.”

“So we need to address these concerns because vaccination is very important moving forward, even though, you know we have contained the pandemic, the threats are still there and if we vaccinate more people the threats will be lessened,” David noted.

“And this is what we’re seeing in many countries that have vaccinated a significant portion of their population,” he added.

The Philippines has fully vaccinated at least 25.7 million people against COVID-19, Malacañang said on Monday.

This represents 33.33 percent of government's target, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque.

Herd immunity occurs when a large enough portion of the population is immune to a pathogen, either by vaccination or prior infection, stopping spread of the virus. 

Health experts have said about 70 percent to 80 percent of the population must be immunized to reach some level of herd immunity, but that figure can vary. 

In Metro Manila, the epicenter of the outbreak, 8.3 million of about 13 million residents have been fully vaccinated.

 

--ANC, 27 October 2021