Who goes first?

VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez (The Freeman) - March 27, 2021 - 12:00am

I thought a radio commentator was making satirical comments that an actor got the AstraZeneca vaccine in a city in Metro Manila. It was only until his face started popping up in various news channels that I believed that it was true. He went ahead of everybody. The government kept on telling us that there is a priority list for everyone to follow, but it seems like not everyone knows how to follow instructions, simple as they are.

Back in primary school, our teacher would raise her eyebrows and enlarge her eyes whenever we wouldn't follow her instructions. She would scream "simple!", but the children couldn't really understand. When I grew older, I realized that following instructions as long as you understood them was indeed simple. I wonder why it couldn't be that easy for adults who are supposed to be mature already.

But the question now really is who goes first when it comes to the vaccine? I understand the feeling that everyone wants to get a jab, I want one too, but the supply isn't just enough for everyone. The interagency task force for COVID has been warning officials, especially mayors who took the vaccine first, to stop giving the shots to the wrong persons or we might lose the chance at getting more free vaccines from the COVAX facility.

It brings me to the thought of us, being too hasty to get vaccines that are free. While I understand that it is would be great savings for the country considering the cost of vaccines, I also wonder where the money supposedly appropriated for COVID response has gone. Since the pandemic started, the national government did disburse quite a chunk of money from its treasury to aid in the response. However, the aid seems to have not trickled down to the grassroots since a lot of people are still suffering and striving to get back on their feet because of the pandemic's effects. A lot are still looking for jobs and those who don’t have income are starving, add to that the risk of getting the infection.

Although I do salute those local government units who have made advance orders for their vaccine. They are seemingly alleviating the national government's burden of trying to vaccinate everyone. It is a good program to start with, but whose responsibility is it really to keep their constituents safe from the virus? Word is going around that private sectors who wish to procure vaccines for their workers should also donate to the government. Instead of thinking that sectors are helping each other out, it is like avoiding the real responsibility of taking care of their people and passing it on to people who can actually do the work well.

It's been a year since that lonely Holy Week where we were restrained to go out, it feels like it again this year.

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