BOHOLANOS HAVE PRAYED FOR months for a silver bullet to slay the Covid-19.
Now that we have at least 15 credible world-renowned pharmaceuticals able to produce the vaccine- to doubt them is to deny our faith in answered prayers and denigrate 21st-century science.
Surveyed over station dyRD, 35% of Boholanos still remained undecided like Doubting Thomases. They fear the side effects like some vaccines have.
Church leaders in a Catholic Bohol like bishops Abet Uy and Daniel Farcos of the city and Talibon dioceses, respectively, had already proclaimed that they will head the march for vaccination to provide a good example to the faithful.
Dr. Jeff Ong, president of the Bohol Medical Society, speaking on a personal note -disclosed he prefers the Sinovac (China) -which uses inactivated virus – but will take the first FDA (Food and Drug Authority) -approved vaccine available to him from anywhere and at any time- he will take the shot.
Most of the doctors here pledged by the same sacred vow- as Dr. Ong calls being vaccinated as a “moral and social” responsibility.
For WHO ( World Health Organization), a 50% efficacy of a vaccine is enough. Ninety percent of the 15 pharmas have a ratio of over 90% efficacy. Except for those people with severe allergies to vaccines and underlying, dangerous medical-conditions, these vaccines produced scant side effects on test subjects.
Most vaccines are developed over the years. However, those vaccines under Covid-19 were developed fast as they were massively funded, the virus’s genomic progression shared by the international scientific community and the presence of bodies for testing as the infection was widespread. This is Dr. Ong’s opinion.
Tests passed through the stringent Phase I- III processes and will first be approved by the Philippines’ own Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The earlier the so-called 70 %of the populace gets vaccinated here- the sooner we can hit the “herd immunity” zone which will make Covid-19 disappear.
Only then can we make economic gains realistic- the choice is to repeat the over P 10-B in economic losses in Bohol for 2020.
Beaten black and blue is the national economy which contracted 9.5% (negative) for 2020 – the worst since World War II. The sooner we hit “herd immunity”, the sooner the economy will be opened freely and saving Filipinos dying from malnutrition and other diseases that they cannot address for lack of money due to job and livelihood losses.
Under today’s semi-lockdown scenario, the economy is losing no-kidding bad, says a red-faced Finance Boss Sonny Dominguez. The loss is P4-Billion a day, Watson. Notice the B is not an M.
One serious problem being faced is “fake news” and “disinformation”. This confuses the majority of people and delays their resiliency to say “yes” to vaccination.
When the news content is doubtful- delete or at least, do not pass. If the intent seems malicious and out to sabotage society, report to the NBI’s cybercrime division.
We get tons of “fake” usually alarmist news daily. Our simple approach is that if mainline media like CNN, BBC, Bloomberg and the likes do not pick them up- they are usually of doubtful merits.
Issues now will be how the transportation and storage be carried out here to vaccinate at least 700,000 Boholanos (herd immunity target) needing sensitive temperature atmospheres to preserve the vaccines. Two doses mean we need 1.4 million total doses- who are competent to administer them- do we have enough nurses, doctors and medical technicians to implement them?
How do we get those far-flung islands where there exist the so-called”vulnerable” classes?
The issue of possible corruption in the millions of vaccines to be purchased at the LGU level could be largely mitigated if the sale will be between say the Philippine national government and the multinational pharmaceutical firms. There will be enough patriotic senators and hard-nosed journalists to look that no Houdini acts are committed.
But the biggest hurdle is still -attitudinal. Since a person cannot be forced to be vaccinated under the Consitution- how will we ever reach the “herd immunity” level and kill Covid-19 for good?
All of us believers must try to convince people under our influence and appeal to their sense of community and patriotism.
Besides, when one prays for rain (for the following day) in a drought-plagued township and does bring an umbrella the next day then one has a faith that is suspect. Similarly, praying ardently daily for months for a vaccine and then doubt when they are available could be like men playing god.
God always answers prayers- yes (if it is good for man), no ( if it is bad) and not yet ( if not yet the right time). The “right time” being- when man has finally learned all the lessons that ought to be learned in undergoing such a debilitating pandemic that in His Wisdom God has allowed.
Knowing that man’s average lifespan average has gone up from 50 years – a moment back- and now at 70 years and to see man send ships to the moon and Mars and allow one to converse via Internet and phones to relatives thousands of miles anytime -“live” and in color – means believing that we had and are having “industrial revolutions”. Or that we can produce an anti-virus vaccine.
The contrary is to doubt the ability of man to defend and preserve its own race from Nature’s predators.
Right now, we need both Science and God. Not one without the other.
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