THE WAY I SEE IT | Susan Amoroso
Aling Juana and Mang Juan poised to get the covid vaccine are facing a real dilemma. News of deaths and severe allergic reactions to the vaccines are going viral worldwide. Countries who have rolled out covid vaccines for their frontliners and elderly are facing enormous backlash. One perfectly healthy Florida doctor died days after taking the vaccine. Twenty nine elderly in Norway are dead days after getting a branded anti-covid vaccine.
In California, 330,000 doses of another brand of vaccine might be pulled out because of severe allergic reactions. A China-made vaccine reportedly the first vaccine to be rolled out in the country is eyed suspiciously , not the vaccine of choice, because of incomplete test trials and inconclusive study.
A survey conducted last month says only 25 percent are willing to be vaccinated, another 25 percent undecided and half of the population are against vaccination.
I daresay, the growling and barking, the endless discussions on social media about the pros and cons, squabbles in the Senate on the procurement process and disinformation on actual prices of each vaccine have now become moot and academic. Mass vaccination in the 17 regions covering 42,000 barangays will roll out despite apprehensions on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.
Quezon City, one Metro Manila city with the highest incidence of covid infections and deaths, has already designated ten initial vaccination sites. Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is targeting 24 sites including the three city-run hospitals. The City of Taguig is allocating P1billion for the procurement of the vaccines and other exigencies. Other cities and municipalities are expected to follow suit. Almost all mayors and governors are in unison that vaccination against covid is a must.
The initial targets are the front liners and the elderly. How to convince the elderly to take the vaccine is a major concern. The barangay cadres or
kagawads’’ conducting house to house campaigns are finding the hard truth.Ayoko pa mamatay,’’ (I don’t want to die) is the common response of the senior citizens when asked to take the vaccine. Needless to say, mayors are working overtime for a pro-vaccine campaign in their localities.
Ten questions about the covid vaccines are going viral. The questions start with the pretext “If I get vaccinated.’’ 1) Can I stop wearing a mask? 2) Can bars, karaoke, gyms, ballroom dance clubs, theaters, conventions centers reopen like business as usual? 3) Will I be resistant to covid and won’t be contagious? 4) Will school be back to normal without masks etc? 5) Can I stop social distancing? 6) Can I stop disinfecting? 7) Am I sure I won’t die or get sick because of the vaccine side effects? 8) Can I travel anywhere without taking the swab/PCR covid tests and without quarantining? 9) If I have an allergy and have a weak immune system is the vaccine safe to take? 10) Will I be free from the virus? The answer to the questions is a big NO!
Keep in mind the mortality rate of covid is less than one percent. Survival rate is 99.9 percent. Proven anti-covid medications and therapies exist. Is the government wasting money on a futile and expensive experiment? Government spending and borrowings are at an all time high since last year. A cash strapped government has to tax more. Money the government does not have will have to be borrowed and passed on to the taxpayers. The vaccines are imported; therefore, it is a big drain on foreign exchange.
For the government to procure millions of doses of these vaccines which are not guaranteed safe seems unwise. Some say the procurement may be tainted with corruption. What’s the hurry? Just saying!