Briones: Get vaccinated

·2 min read

What will it take to convince the public to get vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)?

Will the government be forced to put up tarpaulins or posters or take out ads on television depicting negative health consequences of vaccine hesitancy?

I for one don’t want to look at images of people gasping for breath, getting intubated or families grieving the loss of loved ones. That’s just too morbid.

Then again, people continue to smoke despite the graphic warning labels on cigarette packs that show the detrimental effects of long-term smoking on health.

Anyway, I just read somewhere that some countries now require all health care workers to get vaccinated.

Many of them are inadvertently exposed to the virus at work and don’t know it. It’s best that they get the jab to protect themselves, their families, their colleagues and, most importantly, their patients. That makes sense, right?

And yet, making Covid vaccination mandatory doesn’t sit well with some people, who claim that it infringes on their rights as human beings.

Well, I hate to break it to them, but Covid-19 doesn’t care about rights.

So why am I ranting about vaccine hesitancy yet again?

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, Visayas Vaccination Operations Center spokesperson, announced that the Philippines is expecting delivery of over 10 million Covid-19 vaccine doses this month alone.

Loreche called on everyone to sign up for the master list, which is the first step in the vaccination process. Because, let’s face it, if few people sign up, then a lot of doses will go to waste. And that won’t make the donors happy, not to mention the Philippine government which spent billions of pesos to procure supply.

In Cebu City alone, only 295,532 of 645,828 people eligible to get vaccinated are on the master list. That’s less than half.

The current administration was initially criticized for not moving fast enough to secure the supply of vaccine doses. Now that doses are finally trickling in, there are only a few takers.

What gives?

I think it’s fair to say that we, and I mean all of us, want out of this nightmare. It has been more than 15 months of highs and lows and ups and downs. We just want to get off this pandemic rollercoaster.

The World Health Organization has been saying that to achieve herd immunity against the disease, at least 80 percent of the population must be vaccinated.

We already know how to solve the problem. And with the arrival of the vaccines, we already have the means to do it. So what are all these people waiting for?

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