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Filipinos seem to be more interested with the antiparasitic drug Ivermectin and are looking for sources of oxygen tank than registering for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine based on the number of searches on Google, meta-search website iPrice Group said in a report by Philippine News Agency.

In its latest research released Thursday, iPrice Group reported that vaccine registrations search in Google for March 2021 hit 1,430.

“The number of Google searches on vaccine registrations is only about 1,430 in March 2021, which is 157 times lower than the searches on Ivermectin and 27 times lower than searches on oxygen tanks,” iPrice Group senior content marketing executive Isabelle Romualdez said.

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“The Google search interests in Ivermectin continue to grow in April as seen in Google Trends’ data. Based on this, iPrice predicts the continuous upward trajectory of people’s interest in Ivermectin, which is very alarming,” iPrice Group said.

Last month, Ivermectin search on Google surged by 687 percent to 224,110 from February this year.

Ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug which some medical practitioners claim can be given to Covid-19 patients to manage their symptoms, is not registered with the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

iPrice Group further said that with the surge in Covid-19 cases in the country, Google search on oxygen tanks rose by 115 percent from February 2021 to March 2021.

“This trend has happened in 2020 as well when searches also surged during the first wave in 2020, with an average of 24,277 searches from July to September, then tapered off as the daily cases declined,” the study said. “During this second wave, hospitals are experiencing a shortage of space and oxygen tanks. Thus, Filipinos are looking for oxygen tanks in case of worst-case scenarios.”

iPrice Group said Filipinos’ online searches reflect their need for treatment and security against Covid-19 “as not all have the means to be treated in hospitals”.

“It’s safe to say that everyone just wants the virus to end, but this is harder to achieve when many Filipinos are reluctant to get the Covid-19 vaccine,” it added. 


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