Magpabakuna! A survey of FilAm attitudes toward vaccines

The survey is open to all FilAms aged 18 and above regardless of whether they have received the vaccine or not. Stock photo

A nationwide survey to document attitudes surrounding vaccination in the Filipino American community has been launched by the Filipino Young Leaders Program or FYLPRO.

The MAGPABAKUNA na Tayo (“Measuring and Gathering data on Pilipino/a/x American Behaviors, Attitudes, and Knowledge Understanding the Novel Coronavirus vaccines”) study is a 20-minute survey that will be conducted online and via telephone by FYLPRO’s Tayo program and community partner, the Council of Young Filipinx Americans in Medicine or CYFAM.

The survey is available in English and Filipino and open to all FilAms aged 18 and above regardless of whether they have received the COVID-19 vaccine or not.

The survey seeks to not only improve data collection on FilAms specifically, but also assist in the disaggregation of data on Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities at large. The longstanding practice of aggregating socioeconomic, public health, and other data under one broad AAPI category oftentimes obscures inequalities at the ethnic community level.

Although Filipinos have emerged as the second largest Asian American ethnic group in the United States, FilAms are vastly underrepresented in medical research.

“Despite making up over 6 percent of the U.S. population, less than 0.2 percent of the National Institutes of Health budget is dedicated to studying the health of Asian American populations,” stated Tayo medical advisor Dr. Melissa Palma. “Oftentimes academic researchers label immigrant groups like Filipinos as ‘hard to reach,’ but in my experience it’s often that they aren’t sending the right people to ask and engage with us.”

Palma, a board-certified preventive medicine and public health physician in Chicago, IL, heads the survey team that also includes CYFAM members Abigail Ahyong, Giana Apoderado, Neille John Apostol, Siegried Chen, Diana Del Rosario, Sheena Garcia, Samantha Sumait, Matthew Roces, Mericien Venzon, and Megan Yee. Additional support is provided by FYLPRO board members and Tayo core leaders Mark Calaguas, Jobel Vecino and Leezel Tanglao.

“This survey is vitally important to improve collection of data about us as a community,” said Leezel Tanglao, FYLPRO president and Tayo project director. “The lack of disaggregated data has made it difficult to fully understand the impact of COVID-19 on the Filipino community. This is the first step in better telling our story.”

FYLPRO believes many minority communities of color have been disproportionately affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic, including the FilAm community. “With the rapidly-evolving approval and availability of COVID-19 vaccines, an examination of the barriers to care for the Filipino American community in the context of COVID-19 vaccines is needed.”

The survey, which is supported by a grant from the CDC Foundation, can be accessed at Analysis of results is expected in late fall 2022.


(C) The FilAm 2022

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