Responsive Ad Slot




Buhay Pinay



Philippine News

Join us at Facebook!

Lack of info makes many OFWs shy away from coronavirus vaccine

25 February 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

Most OFWs are uncertain about the advantages of taking the vaccine

A random survey of Filipino migrant workers in Hong Kong show many are either unwilling, or hesitant, to get the coronavirus vaccine, which will be made publicly available for selected groups starting tomorrow, Feb 26.

When asked why, the usual answer was they were afraid of adverse consequences, or they did not know much of what to expect, so they would rather not take the jab. Others want to play it safe, saying they want to observe first and make a decision later.

Pindutin para sa detalye!

But social media sites are also replete with vehement rejection from some workers, who are positive they would die from the vaccine, but could only cite the opinion of other people - including their employers - or share dubious sites to support their claim.

This was despite a very public display of support for the vaccination program by Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her top officials, who all had their Sinovac jabs Monday in front of dozens of cameras, in a proceeding carried live on social media.


The next day, the CE reported an overwhelming response to the free inoculation drive, saying a total of 42,000 people had booked appointments to get the vaccine in the first nine hours since the registration opened at midnight.

Among those who declared they would be getting the jab were a couple of Filipino migrant workers who said they had been listed up to accompany their elderly wards, who are in the priority list for the first round of inoculation.

Villanueva is among a few who are raring to get the jab

Eman Villanueva, chairperson of Bayan Hong Kong and Macau, said he, too, will “definitely” take the vaccine once it becomes available for people in his age group.


“I believe mass vaccination is a scientific approach to address the Covid-19 pandemic. Historically, vaccinations saved millions of lives sa mga sumulpot ng mga sakit sa kasaysayan ng tao,” he said.

Villanueva said he did not have a preferred brand yet, “but I will choose the ones that are tested to have the highest efficacy and lowest side effects.”


The vaccine from Germany’s BioNTech, which is co-producing it with Fosun Pharma for China and Hong Kong but with Pfizer for the rest of the world, is shown by clinical trials to be 95% effective. But concerns about its effect on people with severe allergies have left many skeptical about whether it is the right vaccine for them.

Mainland firm Sinovac, which shipped the first one million doses of its vaccine, Coronavac, to Hong Kong on Friday, has an efficacy rate of between 50-65%, but is believed to cause fewer side effects, as it is made in the conventional way, using inactivated virus particles.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

The third vaccine procured for Hong Kong , AstraZeneca, which is produced by an Anglo-Swedish group, has an efficacy rate of between 76-81%, if the second dose is taken within 12 weeks after the first.

“I will recommend vaccination to all, including my family and fellow OFWs, for the same reason why I am going to take it. I am hopeful but at the same time readying for the worst,” he said.

With the different variants of the coronavirus that are emerging, he said he’s not sure if the vaccines could end the pandemic. “But I still believe vaccination is one of the correct ways forward,” he said.

Villar will take the jab if the Consulate recommends it

Rodelia Pedro Villar, founder of the big online group, Domestic Workers Corner, is one of those who have yet to be convinced that a vaccine is preferable to just taking all the necessary precautions against Covid-19.

“Personally no, I will not take the vaccine, hindi naman lahat makakakuha o madadapuan ng Covid. Kailangan lang mag-iingat sa bawat taong makakasalamuha at sa lugar na pupuntahan, at kumain ng healthy food,” Villar said.

But she said if the Hong Kong government would enact a law that would compel everyone to take the vaccine, or if the Consulate would support the inoculation drive, she said she’ll do it.

“Pag-aaraalan naman nila kung ito ay para sa kabutihan ng mga OFW,” she said.

Although she has doubts about the efficacy of the vaccines, she’s hopeful that they could bring life back to normal.

Another naysayer is Jeng Francisco, a domestic workers with driving duties who holds a post-graduate degree from the Philippines.

Francisco says she's not fully aware of the vaccines' side effects

“I do not plan to take the anti-Covid vaccine because first of all, I do not have trust in the  companies that are making them. In addition, I am not fully aware of all the possible side effects of the vaccine,” she said.

Even if she has no plans of recommending the vaccine to others, Francisco said everyone should make their own research and make their own decisions. Despite her reservations, she hopes the vaccines would succeed in helping people resume their normal lives.

One of those who are taking a wait-and-see approach is Jhic Dacio, the first OFW to become a fellow at Resolve Foundation.

“I think I have to observe first for the outcome from those vaccinated…or I will wait for the best one,” she said. “I don’t know yet if I will allow myself to be vaccinated.”

Dacio says she'll first observe the effects of the vaccine on other people 

As of now, she said, she has not seen any assurance that the vaccine is safe, and could help get people out of the pandemic.

Their diverse views reflect the overall sentiment in Hong Kong, as shown by a recent study that showed only 39% of Hongkongers were planning to get the jab.

Even among doctors, nurses and dentists, five percent said in a survey by a pro-government health care group that they won’t take the vaccine. But that could also be because of anti-China sentiments that had boiled over during the violent protests of 2019.

One thing is certain, though. If taking the vaccine could guarantee that residents are able to move freely again, or travelers could skip the mind-bending 21-day hotel quarantine currently in force in Hong Kong, then getting more people to go for the jab would be a far easier task.  

Call us!


Don't Miss