Lanao del Sur governor says vaccination rate only at 8.7%, attributes it to 'fake news'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 29) — The province of Lanao del Sur is among the areas in the country that are still struggling to inoculate its residents due to vaccine hesitancy.

Its governor, Mamintal Adiong, Jr, said Monday they have only vaccinated about 8.7% of their target eligible population, or 60,500 people, despite having enough supply of COVID-19 shots.

Adiong said this was because of "fake news" on the side effects of the vaccines.

"Mamamatay raw or anong mangyayari after two years, kaya nahihirapan kami mag-convince ng tao," he said.

[Translation: People believe they will die or whatsoever after two years, so we are having a hard time convincing them.]

But Adiong said local governments in the province have started providing incentives to encourage more residents to get vaccinated.

"Nagpalagay na tayo ng maraming tarp para mahikayat 'yung tao [na] safe 'yung ating bakuna," the governor said. "'Yung mga ibang munisipyong bayan natin, [....] nagbibigay ng lima hanggang sampung kilong bigas."

[Translation: We have put up tarps to convince people that the vaccines are safe. Some of our municipal governments are distributing 5 to 10 kilos of rice.]

Lanao del Sur aims to inoculate at least 300,000 people in the 3-day national vaccination project.

"Bayanihan, Bakunahan," an effort led by the government against COVID-19, hopes to vaccinate 9 million people in the country.