March 31, 2023

A survey done separately by three government offices led by the Department of Health and two hospitals in Baguio have shown that even among health workers and uniformed personnel, many are reluctant about getting their anti-Covid-19 shots.
In the DOH survey among 300 municipal and provincial healthcare workers, only 75 percent are willing to be vaccinated; Baguio City Police Office – 75 percent among 500 personnel; and City Health Services Office – 65 percent out of 1,000 respondents.
For hospitals, 51 out of 615 personnel of Saint Louis University Hospital of the Sacred Heart said they were “unsure,” and for Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center where 90 percent of its 2,100 personnel were surveyed, only 49 percent were willing to be vaccinated.
Common reasons cited for refusing to be vaccinated were concerns on the brand of vaccine that will be injected on them, efficacy of the vaccine, and adverse effects especially on those with co-morbidities.
The national government targets to vaccinate 70 percent of the eligible general population.
For Baguio, the target is 80 percent, or more than 190,000 of its current total population while it is ideal is to vaccinate all health workers and personnel in all hospitals.
“Kailangan 100 percent sa mga hospital kasi we have to gain the trust of the public (whom we treat),” SLU Hospital of the Sacred Heart Chief Paul Quitiquit said.
BGHMC infectious diseases specialist Dr. Bernard Demot said as the Covid-19 referral hospital, more hospital personnel should have agreed on getting vaccinated.
Quitiquit said SLU will organize a seminar for their personnel who are still hesitant to be vaccinated. He said if they continue to refuse, the hospital administration will require these personnel to undergo monthly RT-PCR test, at the expense of the employee.
The DOH and local health offices will embark on a massive information and education campaign to convince more people to be vaccinated.
Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong said he is willing to be vaccinated to boost public confidence on vaccination.
DOH-Cordillera Director Ruby Constantino has assured Filipinos will only be given vaccines that are proven to be safe and effective, as she claimed the vaccination is free and will be made available for everyone starting with high risk sectors, health care workers, and senior citizens.
DOH Medical Officer 3 Anachris Kilakil has appealed to the public to trust experts who have assured that the vaccines are safe before being introduced to the public.
“Ang konting proteksyon ay mas mainam kaysa wala,” she said in a press briefing.
Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca are the two vaccine manufacturers recently granted an emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration.
EUA is a risk-based procedure for assessing unlicensed or under development vaccines or therapeutics. It is issued during public health emergencies of international concern with the aim of expediting availability to people affected by a public health emergency. – Rimaliza A. Opiña