Vaccine acceptability among hospital workers in Baguio improving

12 March 2021 – Reception to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines among hospital workers had significantly improved resulting to a successful roll-out of the inoculation program in the city so far.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said response to the roll-out had been good and the level of acceptability had also increased based on surveys conducted among hospital workers.

He said based on the surveys done to determine the level of acceptability and brand preference of the hospital workers being the first in line to receive the vaccines.

He related that at the start, the level of acceptability was only 48 percent as most of the respondents were hesitant about the vaccine.

However, after a series of engagements and information, education and communication (IEC) sessions, it rose to 69 percent then to 80 percent and eventually 90 percent.

But when Sinovac entered the picture being the first available vaccine in the country, the acceptability dipped.

“In fact, in one hospital where a total of 374 workers were surveyed, 373 refused and only one agreed because of Sinovac.  But after the initial roll-out, we were surprised that the number was reversed.  Only one refused to take the vaccine and 373 agreed even if it is Sinovac,” the mayor said.

“Our experts are correct in saying that the best vaccine is the one that is available now.  So I encourage our health workers and those in the priority list to take advantage of the vaccines once their turn to be vaccinated comes,” he added.

He said vaccination of health workers will continue in the next two more weeks and they expect to reach 80 to 90 percent of the targeted number in the next few days thanks to the vaccine allocations from the national government.

The next supplies will be for the elderly with comorbidities.

The mayor assured that apart from the national government allotment, the city had procured 380,000 doses of AstraZeneca for residents which are scheduled to arrive in tranches starting third quarter of the year.

Apart from these, the city also expects donations based on pledges made by private companies which include a global company, the Filipino-Chinese community, the Baguio Country Club and some private individuals.

“I can say that we will have enough vaccines to cover 80 to 90 percent of our target population,” the mayor said. – Aileen P. Refuerzo