Vaccines induce farts of wisdom and expertise

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag (The Freeman) - January 13, 2021 - 12:00am

When the coronavirus first reared its ugly head and quickly swamped the world in a deadly pandemic, scared Filipinos dropped to their knees praying for deliverance. But now that there is a vaccine, in whose making they have contributed nothing, Filipinos are suddenly up on their feet complaining.

When there was no vaccine, Filipinos wondered aloud why there was no cure for COVID-19. When it became clear several makers have developed vaccines, Filipinos complained of dropping the ball in negotiating a purchase. When it became clear it may take a while for the purchases to arrive, the Filipinos bitched. When a few vaccines managed to sneak in for presidential guards, they bitched even harder.

Filipinos just cannot drop to their knees again in thanksgiving for this deliverance. They had to question everything about the vaccine --just how trustworthy the makers are, why get it from this maker and not from that, who gets the vaccine first, just how effective the formulations are. No other people in the world are making as much noise. In fact only the Filipinos are.

Even the Senate of the Philippines just cannot help feeling so self-important. It had to join the fray and held a hearing focusing on the vaccines as if any single senator, without exception, knows anything about the matter. It just had to lend its voice to a national debate where the best information anyone can have is second hand.

The only Filipinos who are gracious enough to keep quiet and let things run their course are those Filipinos who are in other countries not their own. And so we hear and see pictures of the first Filipino to get an anti-COVID-19 shot in the UK, or the United States, or Canada. There is no noise about vaccines overseas. They just bury their heads in what they are doing, making for more efficient work, greater productivity, better shot at the future.

Do you know of any other legislature conducting an investigation pertaining to vaccines whose availability depends solely on the kindness and good-naturedness on the manufacturer? If you answered no, you are correct. Only the vaccineless Philippines is flaunting its noisy ignorance of vaccines. Those who have it hardly talk about it.

And yet, for all the uproar about vaccines, less than 50% of Filipinos would want to be vaccinated, said a recent survey. For all the uproar about a vaccine that is as yet as visible as the virus it seeks to tame, there are hardly any takers of the cure. It is like enjoying the first rain of summer under an umbrella.

For a disease that has heretofore no cure, any vaccine is as good as it gets. We are just barely scratching the surface of this lengthy fight against a virus we cannot see. We who do not have the slightest capability to produce the vaccine sound pretty off questioning the makers based on clearly political biases. We who have not seen a shadow of the vaccine sound doubly off, talking about something we have no knowledge of or expertise in.

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