An irresponsible remark
OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide (The Freeman) - August 13, 2020 - 12:00am

Candidates and trials. By no means are these words related to politicians and lawyers. At least, not today. Like the off tangent nature of this column, these topic words are used in relation to the COVID-19. Seriously, there appeared to me news reports on coronavirus vaccines with seemingly dissimilar impacts. International news channels reported that there are candidates from various pharmaceutical companies in America, Great Britain, Germany, China and Russia. Billions of dollars have been poured into the research. The word used was “candidates” because the prospects are still on different levels of “trial.” Quoting the World Health Organization, the candidate vaccine developed in Oxford leads the way. It is, accordingly, on the third phase of the tests. Technical terms I am not familiar with were used in describing the phases of the ongoing tests. On the whole, I took the report to mean that the product of Oxford research is now tested on humans, clinical trials in medical lingo, for efficacy standards.

The international cable companies also reported that the American and German laboratories, on one hand, are not far behind the English medical strides. They are likewise deep into the late human trials and are on the cusp of producing the vaccine against the China-origin disease. In fact, these pharmaceutical research groups have predicted that they can move to earlier dates the announcement of the availability of their vaccines. So, sooner than later, we will have some protection against or cure from the virus. On the other hand, WHO declared with abundant caution that the vaccine candidate from Russia is still in the earlier levels of the tests. There are yet no substantive documentations available on how this Russian experiment is conducted and upon which world health authorities can validate its progress. In other words, the Russian research is far from completing its work as to come up with the established standards and the efficacy of a vaccine.

In the Monday evening television newscast, I saw President Rodrigo Duterte declaring that his friend (and therefore also our friend) Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that they have come up with a kind of COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, from another source, Putin bragged that the vaccine was already administered upon one of his daughters. To cement their (our) friendly relations, Putin offered to us such vaccine and as a demonstration of absolute confidence on our part as the recipient of the future offer, President Duterte declared that he would be the first Filipino to be injected with such medical cure.

I am sure that the presidential spokesperson in Sec. Harry Roque will say that the president was only joking. That Duterte was only in his usual playful self. Roque has done this many times in the past as if our president is a clown. But, with due respect to Roque and with sincere apologies to our president, Duterte, to me, uttered a grossly irresponsible remark in offering himself to be the first Filipino guinea pig of the yet unproven Russian vaccine. Imagine this. If indeed the president submits himself to be a part of the clinical trial, his cabinet members, out of blind loyalty, will follow the act. What happens if the result is undesirable, to say the least? Jesus Christ!

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with