Many options are better

THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - December 30, 2020 - 12:00am

Why would you accept a vaccine with a 50% efficacy rate? When you are told that something has a fifty-fifty chance of succeeding, is that acceptable? Isn't that a big gamble for a vaccine? This is what the Chinese manufactured Sinovac vaccine offers, the seemingly favorite vaccine to be approved and purchased by the country. According to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), that percentage is acceptable for use in the country.

But some lawmakers have objected to the DOST approval. The words "joke" and "nonsense" as well as "totally unacceptable" have sprung up. Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun said the government should not give in to "any overture, pressure, or campaigning by the Chinese government, the Chinese embassy, or any of their proxies." In other words, do not give in to China, again. Sen. Miguel Zubiri and Franklin Drilon have also concurred about the Sinovac vaccine being unacceptable.

The Philippines already lags in acquiring and using the vaccine to start the fight against COVID-19. Singapore has been the first country in Asia to receive the vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech. We know that this vaccine is difficult to store and needs to be kept in super sub-freezing temperatures. Rich countries naturally got the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines right away and started vaccinating their citizens. In the US, more than a million have been vaccinated but the target is to vaccinate twenty million immediately. America certainly wants to return to normal life and be eliminated from being the number one country in the world with COVID-19 cases.

According to the DFA, the Moderna vaccine is accelerating a huge shipment to the country. The vaccine from AstraZeneca is also supposedly on its way. Vaccines from other companies and countries are also being negotiated for delivery. It is good to have many options and not just one form of a favored country. The government must have a vaccination program ready when the vaccines finally arrive. A majority may get it for free while those who can afford would probably go for the "branded" ones. For those who want to wait and see, it is their choice. It is understandable for those who want to wait and see if any side effects come out, such as the two allergic reactions in the UK. Effective vaccines will contribute to herd immunity which reduces the number of virus transmissions and thereby leading to its demise. At least, that is the plan. Hope it turns out successful. We need to get the whole world back on track.

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