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Vaccination dilemma prowls province

SOUTHERN LEYTE – Cases of the new corona virus disease (COVID-19) continue to rise not only in the province but also in the country. Despite the threat of the contagious covid variants and death of relatives, some Southern Leyteños still do not want to be vaccinated.
Several interviewed residents said that they do not believe in the effectiveness of the vaccine, while others expressed that they have other vaccine brand preferences.
Meanwhile, City Health Pharmacist Yasmin Napoles said that vaccination is “dependent on the number of vaccines that we are receiving. More vaccines, more recipients.”
Based on a report by the Southern Leyte Provincial Health Office, as of August 12, 2021, the province got a total COVID-19 vaccine allocation of 51,591 for the first dose and 33,304 for the second dose. Of this number, only 12.2% of the total population of 429,573 in Southern Leyte has been administered with the first dose and 7.7% with the second dose.
Meanwhile, a total of 25 million doses have been given in the Philippines, and 12 million people have been fully vaccinated, as of August 11 2021. Based on the Department of Health data, 10.7% of the total Philippine population is fully vaccinated; the average world data is 15%.
Pulse Asia survey in late March 2021 showed that vaccine hesitancy among Filipinos remain high, with 61% saying “no” if the inoculation was done at that time. The main reason for this unwillingness (80% in the Visayas, 80% in Mindanao, and 90% in Metro Manila) was the concern about the safety of the vaccine.
In addition to the problem of COVID-19 vaccination acceptability, the country is encountering the problem of vaccine availability.
These issues are a big challenge to the health authorities, for the country to reach the so called “herd immunity.” The government’s target is to have 60 million to 70 million Filipinos vaccinated.

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