70 pct of readers say no to AstraZeneca vaccine

The results of the DayakDaily Facebook poll on whether Sarawakians were willing to take the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, April 30: Voices against the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine among Sarawakians are of a bigger amplitude than those who do not mind taking them.

This is the result of a 24-hour Facebook story poll conducted by DayakDaily yesterday (April 29) from 9.30am that lasted until the same time this morning.

The survey was aimed at gathering the views of Sarawakians on their confidence regarding the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine and whether they were willing to take it.

Statistics from DayakDaily’s 24-hour Facebook story poll.

In a period of 24 hours, there were 1,051 unique visitors to the story poll where 228 or 71.7 per cent voted ‘No’ while 90 or 28.3 per cent voted ‘Yes’.

It was also noted that only 318 or 30.3 per cent out of the 1,051 unique visitors cast their votes whereas the remaining 733 or 69.7 per cent did not express their opinions.

Apart from the story poll, DayakDaily also wrote a Facebook post at the same time pertaining to the poll and the comment section received overwhelming responses from readers, with 95 sticker reactions to the post.

Until this morning, there were also 336 comments under the post with mixed reactions where DayakDaily reporters counted at least 124 comments with a decisive ‘No’ and another 12 readers who replied ‘Yes’ to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Among the 124, almost all of them stood firm in their stand as they wrote “No” in varying degrees of intensity.

Several commented that they would reject the AstraZeneca vaccine as there are other Covid-19 vaccines in the market that are “better” and “less risky”, after several news reports emerged which found that the vaccine may cause blood cots in rare instances.

Conversely, those who expressed an inclination towards this particular brand of the vaccine were mostly saying “Why not?” and that other vaccines such as the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have recorded deaths too.

Snippets from the comment section of the poll.

“Yes!! I want to be first in line! If Europe and India desperately want it, why not? Let those who fear it opt out. 21 million have been vaccinated, less than 200 deaths. Pfizer has recorded deaths too,” wrote one reader.

Meanwhile in the sea of comments, one spoke out: “(The AstraZeneca vaccine) won’t be in Sarawak, no point talking.”

On April 28, National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) coordinator minister Khairy Jamaluddin said AstraZeneca vaccines would only be available on a “first come, first serve” basis in dedicated vaccination centres in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, and not in Sarawak.

Following that announcement, State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian also confirmed that Sarawak would not be using AstraZeneca in its immunisation programme despite Khairy’s offer.

The latest update by Dr Sim in a Facebook post yesterday, however, expressed deep concern not on the availability or varieties of Covid-19 vaccines but the number of Sarawakians who have registered for the vaccination.

He said Sarawak might have a sufficient supply of vaccines by July this year, but there weren’t enough Sarawakians on the receiving end.

Perhaps, the question of the day is not about the types of vaccine the people are willing to take, but about the level of confidence that people have towards undergoing vaccination against Covid-19. — DayakDaily