We find some bright light at the end of this anxiety-laden tunnel unduly constructed by the coronavirus 2019 which has infected 3.4 million and killed nearly 54,000 in the Philippines.
There had been an understandable unwillingness among some in the 110 million population, including the elderly, but reports emerged this week that most Filipinos are now willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Vaccine disinclination has dropped to five percent in December from a high 22 percent in September 2021, according to the OCTA Research’s Tugon ng Masa National Survey.
Resistance to get jabbed was highest in the Visayas and Mindanao at nine percent each, followed by Metro Manila and Balance Luzon at three percent each.
Two days into the weekend, a survey by the Social Weather Stations was released which showed a majority of adult Filipinos are willing to get a booster dose for COVID-19.
Based on face-to-face interviews done from December 12 to 16, 2021 among 1,440 adults nationwide, 80 percent of adult Filipinos said they were willing to get a third vaccine shot, popularly called the booster shot, with seven percent still unwilling to get a booster and 13 percent uncertain.
The survey results suggested only eight percent of adult Filipinos were unwilling to get vaccinated, 10 percentage points lower than September’s 18 percent.
Willingness to get a booster shot was also high across all regions, with Balance Luzon at 82 percent, followed by Metro Manila at 81 percent.
Seventy-eight percent of respondents from the Visayas also expressed willingness to get a booster, and 78 percent from Mindanao also said they were willing to get a third jab.
On the other hand, those unwilling to get a booster was highest in Mindanao at 17 percent, followed by Visayas at 15 percent, Metro Manila at 12 percent and Balance Luzon at 10 percent.
The survey also showed that willingness to get a booster was high on all education levels. Eighty-six percent of college graduates expressed willingness to get a booster, followed by 79 percent among junior high school graduates, 77 percent among elementary graduates, and 82 percent among non-elementary graduates.
Unwillingness to get a booster was highest among non-elementary graduates at 10 percent, followed by junior high school graduates at eight percent, elementary graduates at five percent and one percent among college graduates.
In terms of age, those 55 years old and above were the most willing to get a booster at 84 percent, followed by 45 to 55-year-olds at 81 percent, the 35 to 44-year-olds at 79 percent, the 25 to 34-year-olds at 78 percent, and 18 to 24-year-olds at 74 percent.
The mission is near done, given the willingness of the unvaccinated to get inoculated.
We urge those with second thoughts to now join the vaccination line while we call on the authorities to gear up for an aggressive booster campaign to protect the population – for the healthcare system and the domestic economy.