“We should get vaccinated ASAP.”
Make no mistake about it. COVID-19 cases in the country continue to increase although at a slower pace.
Still, with the high rate of COVID patient recoveries, we must not despair despite the current 50,000 active cases and 19,500 deaths.
NCR-Plus areas are now under General Community Quarantine (GCQ)—yet another glimmer of hope for the country’s health and economic recovery.
However, the University of the Philippines-based COVID watchdog OCTA reported a downtrend of COVID cases in NCR-Plus but noted a significant rise in the number of infections outside Metro Manila and in some Visayas and Mindanao localities.
The local inter-agency task force (IATF) in the various regions now face the challenge of encouraging the rural folks to get inoculated with the vaccines once they are made available to them.
The immediate goal of the government vaccination program is to attain herd immunity, particularly in the epicenter National Capital Region (NCR) and adjacent provinces (NCR-Plus), to curb continued spread of the disease.
We can eventually achieve herd immunity with the cooperation of everyone by completing the shots as scheduled for their respective priority eligibility group.
Since the arrival of the first vaccines, more and more people have registered for vaccination.
Health authorities say public confidence in COVID vaccines has improved —a reversal from the backlash on the previous administration’s disastrous Dengvaxia inoculation program.
Still, many are choosy, awaiting for the coming and availability of their preferred brand of COVID vaccine from abroad.
Several issues cropped up during the clinical trials of some vaccines but experts found no evidence of any serious side effects caused by the jabs on volunteers.
Unfortunately, social media sites have been inundated with misinformation about all sorts of side effects of certain vaccine brands, such that they may not be effective enough against
COVID-19 and SARS2 variants for specific age groups.
I agree that everyone has the right to choose which brand of vaccine to get inoculated with, be it Sinovac, Sputnik, Pfizer, Moderna, Astrazeneca or whatever.
But I believe, too, that we have the moral obligation to stay healthy and get protected against COVID-19 as soon as possible through immunization with the vaccine available at hand.
We can minimize the chances of getting COVID and infecting our own family and other people around us by getting the jabs as soon as we can.
When we reach herd immunity, we will realize that vaccine brand is not the main factor in saving the rest of us Filipinos from COVID-19.