In other countries, as we have seen on television footages, the frontliners and the elderly have been given the priority in their immunization program. The frontliners because they are saving lives and the elderly to prolong their receding lives.
But do we have here in the Philippines?
In his earlier announcement the President said that priority in the vaccine application would be the uniformed personnel in the military and the police. Everyone thought that the President was misquoted when he said this.
But last week Mr. Duterte admitted that indeed some in the military have already been vaccinated. “I have to be frank. I have to tell the truth. I will not hoist a lie. Many have been vaccinated,” the President said, adding “it was for a select few, not all soldiers because it is not yet policy.”
Some of us are in a quandary because the Inter-Agency Task Force for emerging infectious disease (IATF-EID) had earlier announced the hierarchy of those to be vaccinated: first the frontline health workers to be followed by workers of select government offices, senior citizens, indigents and uniformed employees.
So, how come that uniformed personnel are now on top? We really don’t know the answer.
Of course, the President may have his own reasons to reverse the priority set by the IATF. And who are we to question his wisdom?
But what is really alarming is his revelation that some in the military and members of the Presidential Security Group have already been inoculated by the vaccine developed by Sinopharm, a Chinese pharmaceutical company, even without the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Department of Health.
We have also heard that some private citizens, including some prominent legislators, have already been given anti-COVID vaccines.
We do not want to wish ill-will to those greedy and insensitive individuals who got themselves vaccinated ahead of everyone else but if, by some divine intervention, they would get infected by the new coronavirus variant and could no longer be immunized by any vaccine, then all we can say is: “Good for you!”