At least 80 percent or four out of five vaccinated adult Filipinos are willing to get a booster shot against COVID 19, according to the latest Social Weather Stations survey.
The survey found that only 7 percent were unwilling, while 3 percent probably not, 3 percent surely not, correctly rounded, to get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The remaining 13 percent were uncertain about getting a booster shot.
The December 2021 survey found only 8 percent of adult Filipinos were unwilling to get vaccinated against COVID-19, down from the 18 percent in September 2021, 21 percent in June 2021, and 33 percent in May 2021.
The survey showed that willingness to get the booster was also high among different areas in the country—82 percent in Balance Luzon, 81 percent in Metro Manila, 79 percent in Visayas, and 78 percent in Mindanao.
“On the other hand, those unwilling to get a booster dose hardly vary by area, ranging from 6-7 percent,” SWS said.
At the same time, those uncertain about getting a booster dose are highest in Mindanao at 17 percent, followed by the Visayas at 15 percent, Metro Manila at 12 percent, and Balance Luzon at 10 percent.
Likewise, the percentage of vaccinated adults willing to get a booster dose is high in all age groups—84 percent among those 55 years old and above, 81 percent for 45 to 55-year-olds, 79 percent for 35 to 44-year-olds, 78 percent for 25 to 34-year-olds, and 74 percent for 18 to 24-year-olds.
“On the other hand, those unwilling to get a booster dose hardly vary by age group, ranging from 5-10 percent,” SWS said.
The Fourth Quarter 2021 SWS survey was conducted from December 12-16, 2021, using face-to-face interviews of 1,440 adults nationwide, with a sampling error margin of ±2.6% for national percentages.
Meanwhile, Sputnik Light, Russia’s single dose vaccine, can now be used as a booster shot regardless of the primary vaccine, the Department of Health said.
The Food and Drug Administration in November amended the vaccine’s emergency use authorization to allow its use “as a heterologous booster” or a third dose following a primary series of a different vaccine brand.
Experts said Sputnik Light was found to have neutralizing antibodies against the omicron variant when used as a booster shot for those inoculated with Sputnik V.
According to Dr. Liza Gonzales, associate dean at the UP Manila College of Medicine and a member of the vaccine expert panel, the jab is also beneficial both for those who have contracted COVID-19 and those who have not gotten infected.
“It shows that in those previously infected but who were asymptomatic the neutralizing antibodies vs omicron is 87.5 percent, and for those with mild to moderate infection following vaccination the neutralizing antibodies is detected in 100 percent of the samples,” she said.
In related developments, recipients inoculated with the Sinopharm vaccine for their primary series may now receive booster shots against COVID-19, the DOH said.
In a Palace briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Sinopharm has been granted an emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.
The vaccines recommended for Sinopharm recipients are AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Pfizer.