NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 15 February) — Local government units that are paving the way for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout are disturbed to know that some 30 percent of their constituents are not willing to be inoculated with the vaccine. Accordingly, even some workers in health care facilities are reluctant to be jabbed with any COVID-19 vaccine. Earnest campaigns are undertaken for everyone to get a jab of the vaccine.
What lies behind this worrisome vaccine distrust and scare? Actually, the phenomenon is global, apparently triggered by conspiracy theories peddled around by wicked minds, the most interesting of which claimed that the SARS CoV-2 coronavirus was man-made designed to depopulate the planet with the pandemic. And that the COVID-19 vaccine is loaded with a chemical or nano chip that sterilizes the recipients and further reduces the population of the world. The prevailing theme is that a fewer population makes a healthy planet and a much improved quality of life for the people. From a wider perspective, the view does not look so evil at all except for the grave sacrifice it makes of the present generation.
The gross and most naïve of the theories is that the pandemic is nothing but a global invention and manipulation of the big pharmas to rake in huge revenues.
Whatever, it does not help that in the Philippines, we had the prior dengvaxia mess – the dengue vaccine that was reported to have, accordingly, caused the death of some inoculated children, an issue that was politically weaponized to put in bad light the previous regime.
But some fear has actually some science and logical basis. No COVID-19 vaccine so far has reached and passed the mandatory 4th phase clinical trial to warrant its efficacy in achieving intended results and effectiveness in warding off the dreaded coronavirus. Thus, not a single vaccine has been approved for commercial use anywhere in the globe. All permits for current vaccine use fall under what is known as Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) issued by states interested to try it to halt the spread of the contagion in its domain. Every state that allows the use of the vaccine through EUA should be ready for any possible adverse consequences of the vaccination.
Considering the above circumstances, no government anywhere has made vaccination mandatory for all citizens. And in preparing for the vaccine rollouts, measures are also readied to address the possible side effects of the inoculation: observation holding area in every vaccination center, medical responders, ambulance and planned health facility destination. Vaccination becomes a choice: to each, his own.
We hope that the choice of many is to get jabbed with the vaccine. It would make us freer, despite the risk, to move on to some normalcy in the way we live, a situation that may yet help restore the economy and our general well-being. After all, the journey in life is never risk-free.
Let’s live normally again.
(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is a retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.)