Wenceslao: Anti-vaxx

·3 min read

PEOPLE who are opposed to getting vaccinated to protect themselves from the coronavirus are being called the rather good sounding term, “anti-vaxx.” I think the term originated from the United States where politics has spilled into the matter of public health. Those opposed to President Joe Biden or are fanatics of former president Donald Trump are lining up with diehard anti-vaxxers, thereby expanding their reach.

There is another surge of infections in the US, which is being aptly called the epidemic of the unvaccinated. Doing the rounds on Youtube is the video about some of the anti-vaxxers who were in the hospital in one of the states there. One held on to his belief that refusing to get vaccinated was a legitimate exercise of a basic freedom. He died days later.

Anti-vaxxers are in the Philippines, too, although their number is far less. I know of some anti-vaxxers here who were eventually infected with the virus. Their families refused to admit they died of Covid-19 because that would mean the de-legitimization of the belief of the dead. I respect them but will continue to push for mass vaccination.

The new surge of infections has placed an additional burden on the health care system even in this highly industrialized and rich country (US). I read somewhere of medical workers in one state planning to resign. When asked if the health care system has reached a breaking point, the answer was a frank, “It is already broken.”

Government is trying hard to procure additional vaccines as the campaign for vaccination waged by both the government and the private sectors is paying off. More and more Filipinos now want to get vaccinated. Which is good. But I hate to see the day when the anti-vaxx arguments in the US influence the thinking of Filipinos.

As I have said time and again, vaccination is the only way out of this pandemic. That is one of the lessons one can get from humanity’s past experience with pandemics and epidemics. Without the discovered vaccines, man’s extinction would have been possible. Thus, it would be wrong for us to go against vaccination.

And while the Department of Education or DepEd is already talking about the resumption of face-to-face classes, how long will the young ones wait before they get vaccinated? We should start giving protection to them now.

I agree that the longer the schools are closed, the bigger the damage would be on the country’s educational system. But the alternative would be worse, especially for us parents. We don’t want the young ones to get sick with Covid.

That is why if the adults are hesitant to get vaccinated, let us not wait for them to turn around before we vaccinate the young ones, especially if the vaccines are already available. If we already do that, I say that will be the time when we dare to start talking about face-to-face classes.

Vaccination should ease the worries of parents regarding the matter. Or how can DepEd prod the parents to cooperate with it?

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