THE common response to a recent survey on whether they would take the vaccine against Covid-19 was that of wait and see–wait for what will happen before we decide, or let others be first then we will see.
Well, the list of people wanting to go first to help boost confidence in the vaccination program against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is growing longer. And they’re willing to do it in public. Perhaps à la influencer on social media for better impact and wider reach.
The government’s vaccination program is working on a priority list based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. At the top of the list are medical frontliners who have to be strong enough to care for the sick, followed by the elderly, indigent and law enforcers.
To try to convince majority of Filipinos to have themselves vaccinated, there are local government officials and Church leaders and members who are offering themselves to be among the first to get inoculated in order to show others that the vaccine is safe.
Church leaders and priests are among those joining the line to have a jab, and there’s the suggestion that they do it in public or on television so more people can watch.
Take the case of Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, a Filipino Dominican priest and molecular biologist, who said in mid-January that once the vaccine will be available and he is eligible, he will avail himself of it. He will also have his elderly mother get vaccinated if possible. Austriaco then suggested that local officials and priests have themselves vaccinated on television. Not a bad idea for influencers and leaders to have it on Facebook Live or on television.
Pope Francis and Pope emeritus Benedict XVI have both received their second and final dose of the vaccine. Church sites in Manila and a Catholic school in Davao are being offered as vaccination sites. These are examples of how the Church is doing its part in the effort to allay fears.
Austriaco became emotional when he said he hoped people will allow themselves to be inoculated because the vaccine is there to help them. He said side effects are normal for some people and the few who died could have been because of their other medical conditions.
For those who do not want the vaccine, the message is this: If you do not want to get vaccinated, think of the people around you who can be infected if you have the virus. To protect them, get the vaccine so you do not spread the virus.
I’m not a social media influencer, but I would like to have my vaccine as soon as possible, or as I become eligible, to protect myself and others.
* * * Read the four-part special report by Marites V. Ilano and Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo on the SunStar website (www.sunstar.com.ph) to be enlightened on the vaccine program and what’s in store for you.