Manila, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced on January 11 that the Philippine government has already secured 25 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from the Chinese biopharmaceutical firm Sinovac. The first batch is expected to arrive in February, with the remaining batches to arrive until December of this year. The government hopes to inoculate 50,000 Filipinos on February, prioritizing frontline healthcare workers, National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said.
In this report, WR Numero Research sought to gauge the sentiments of online Filipinos on the government’s decision to procure COVID-19 vaccines from China’s Sinovac. Through our proprietary digital political sentiment analytics software called Pathos, WR Numero Research was able to collect a total of over 181,000 engagements (reactions, comments, and shares) from 30 Facebook posts of local mainstream news outlets on January 11, 2021.
Overwhelming majority expressed negative sentiments towards the government. Specifically, 40% criticize the Duterte administration, implying that a devious deal was made with the Chinese firm, while 33% question the cost and efficacy of Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine. On the other hand, 13% account for criticism towards Health Secretary Francisco Duque, pointing out his incompetency to handle the pandemic. Lastly, 8% urge administration allies and supporters to be the first ones to be inoculated with Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine as a way to demonstrate support for the government’s decision.