Wenceslao: Vaccines and cure

Bong O. Wenceslao
·3 min read

THE question on when life would be back to normal for us humans everywhere would soon be answered as some firms are said to be in the final phase of vaccine trials against the dreaded coronavirus. Leading these developments are pharmaceutical firms in two competing countries, China and the United States.

The last phase of trials will involve humans and on this the subjects would come from heavily infected countries like Brazil in South America. The hope is that a safe vaccine will already be approved by year end at the earliest. In the US, President Donald Trump is urging pharmaceutical firms to fast-track the development and manufacture of the vaccine. The effort is not much of a problem in China because those firms are owned by the state.

The pace of the spread of the virus in Brazil may be a blessing in disguise because many pharmaceutical firms want to do the clinical trials there. The main subjects of the experiments are the medical frontliners. The advantage there is that once the vaccine is found safe for humans, the first beneficiaries would be the country where the experiments were held.

That is why our Department of Health welcomes the plan of the firm in China to also hold clinical trials for the vaccine here. One drawback is that China and its products are not popular in the country compared with the US and its products. A vaccine made in China would be seen differently from a vaccine made in the US. Besides, with our conflict with China over West Philippine Sea territories, China’s motives will always be subject to suspicion.

Of course, the other important aspect of this battle is the cure. We have heard of claims that this or this medicine can cure Covid-19 based on how the coronavirus infects the human body but nothing is definite yet. Every country is managing the infected on their own, with lessons culled from the experiences of other countries. But with the world focused on it, I think a cure will be found soon.

This is good considering how fear of being infected has affected the economies of the world. We can see that in our country, which is implementing some of the harshest lockdowns in the world. In Cebu City, the economy is only now being slowly reopened with the shift to a less harsh ECQ (enhanced community quarantine).

Personally, whatever savings I had before the pandemic struck have already been spent. I am now on the hunt for jobs whose numbers have dwindled. I am not yet getting desperate but I am worrying. The pandemic came just when I retired, which means I no longer have a regular source of income. That is why I hate people who are cavalier in dealing with those who have lost their jobs, like the employees of ABS-CBN.

The question now is when and how we will come out of all of these. That is why we welcome every morsel of information about this, like the development of a vaccine and a Covid 19 cure. The virus is dampening efforts for us to reestablish what we had before the Covid 19 pandemic struck. A safe vaccine and a cure is all that we need.