Lim: Get the jab

Melanie T. Lim
·2 min read

FINALLY. They’re here. The vaccines that we’ve all been pining for are finally here. Some fortunate ones got their jabs right before the city’s precious vaccine stash temporarily ran out. But worry not. More vaccines are coming.

Individuals can register at https://mics.cebucity.gov.ph/vims/. Private companies can register at http://www.projectbalikbuhay.com/.

And yet, vaccine hesitancy persists even among the most vulnerable—those 60 and above. There’s a very low risk of adverse reaction from vaccination but a very high risk of death in case of Covid-19 infection. Please get your jabs.

From the rest of the vaccine hesitant population—I’m hearing all kinds of reasons.

Some claim they’re allergic to vaccines though they’ve never been vaccinated. Some claim they’re experiencing a variety of ailments so they don’t want to be vaccinated. Despite assurances they will be medically assessed before the jab, some refuse even to register.

A few say they’re allergic to seafood. We’ve had to explain, time and again, that food allergies don’t disqualify them from getting the vaccine. And that having hypertension or diabetes should be an impetus for them to get the jab not a justification for them to refuse it.

Some are fearful of the side effects. This is understandable. But anaphylaxis is rare. And no blood clots have been recorded in our country. The concern is something else—body aches, headaches, pain in the injection site.

Forgive us, if we, females, raise our eyebrows. We’re tired of this modified version of the “man flu.” Call me sexist but it’s our male employees raising these issues.

They’re afraid of the possibility of pain but they’re not afraid of the possibility of having problems breathing. They’re afraid of a tiny needle but they’re not afraid of having a tube down their throat.

Of course, not all men suffer from the “man flu” syndrome. My 96-year-old father got his jab this week. He was wary, too, as so many of us, are. But he took the leap of faith because it’s the most sensible step towards ending this pandemic.

Life offers no guarantees. And we accept that no action we take is without risk. But we must recognize that it is our moral obligation to get vaccinated to protect not just our lives but the lives of others.

In the midst of a pandemic, vaccination cannot be optional. Unless one is curtailed by medical reasons, there is no justification for refusing a vaccine when one is available.

When the supply stabilizes, vaccination should be mandatory. The interest of the public must prevail over individual preference, liberty or desire.

Anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers decry the destruction of the economy. But if they would just put on their masks and put out their arms for jabs, we could all get back to living our lives.