EDITORIAL - There must be safeguards  against fake COVID vaccines

EDITORIAL - There must be safeguards against fake COVID vaccines

(The Freeman) - December 4, 2020 - 12:00am

There is no doubt that the most sought-after commodity in the market right now is the vaccine against COVID-19. Getting one would mean immunity from what can rightly be considered the most disruptive disease in modern times.

The demand for such vaccines --that some developers are now producing even as others are still perfecting their own versions of it-- is such that there exists a black market for “vaccines”. In fact, such a market has been around for some time now.

Given how much these vaccines are now in demand, it won’t be totally farfetched to expect some unscrupulous groups or criminal syndicates to be thinking about how to get their hands on some of the legitimate vaccines to sell at exorbitant prices or, worse, make up their own concoctions and falsely market them as legitimate vaccines.

We can add to this list the less-than-honest merchants or retailers who think they are selling the real deal, but are actually selling something dangerous.

A fake vaccine is dangerous in two ways.

For one, it may be unsafe to the one who gets it. Legitimate vaccine development involves study about how it reacts to the human body. Because a vaccine is essentially a weakened version of a virus, it may yet have an adverse effect on a person. This is why it usually takes years to develop one.

For another, it can also give whoever takes it a false sense of security. Those who have taken it might think they are immune to the coronavirus and expose themselves to unnecessary risks, only to catch the virus instead. Then they spread it to others.

However, considering how desperate some people can get in these desperate times, they cannot be blamed if they somehow fall for the persuasions of those who just want to make a quick buck selling them fake vaccines.

Even as the legitimate vaccine is still months away from being available here in the Philippines, there must be safeguards put in place to protect people against fake vaccines.

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