Briones: No time to wait

·2 min read

Imagine declaring on social media that you would rather die than get vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

A tad melodramatic, perhaps. But hey, I admire the bravura. The conviction.

Just make sure to stay 10 feet away from me and any of my family and loved ones. Better yet. Don’t show your face while this pandemic is ongoing.

I get it. It’s your body and you should be able to decide what to do with it. It’s a basic human right, according to Amnesty International. Unfortunately, the virus doesn’t care about rights.

The vaccine is no guarantee against infection. But, and it’s a big BUT, it will reduce the risk of you contracting the disease. And even if you do get it, the vaccine will help you from getting seriously ill.

Anyway, I hope the public will realize that this health crisis won’t go away if herd immunity is not achieved. To do that, at least 70 percent of the population must be inoculated.

In the case of Cebu City, which has a population of around one million people, that’s 700,000 individuals who need to get the jab. At this point, the number of fully vaccinated individuals in the city stands at 116,266.

The figures, though, do not include individuals who were inoculated under the Project Balik Buhay initiative or in hospitals. So there could actually be more people out there who are fully vaccinated or at least have received the first dose, which is good news.

The number of people who have registered to be vaccinated has also shot up since the highly transmissible delta variant of Covid-19 was detected on our shores. How many actually show up to get the jab is another matter entirely.

Still, whatever variant is responsible for the recent spike in cases has been a game changer.

In the past, the disease targeted mainly the elderly and persons with comorbidity, leaving the rest of the population relatively safe from serious health complications. But that’s not the case anymore. People in their 20s and 30s are getting sick. Children even. And yes, almost all of them have not been vaccinated.

Granted, the government’s vaccine rollout has been less than ideal, but it’s not its fault. The Philippines, like many countries around the world, relies on vaccine shipments from abroad. And delivery can be sporadic.

With that said, the country received more than one million vaccines from China over the weekend. Local supplies should be replenished this week.

So what are you waiting for?

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