Editorial: Your right to know

THERE have been positive developments in the procurement of Covid-19 vaccine within the first two weeks of January 2021.

The Food and Drug Administration has issued an Emergency Use Authorization to the Covid-19 vaccine of Pfizer-BioNTech, the first in the country to receive one. AstraZeneca, Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology (Gamaleya Institute), and Sinovac also have pending EUA applications for their vaccines.

Over 20 local government units (LGUs), including Davao City, already have signed agreements with AstraZeneca.

Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine is expected to arrive in the country in February, the earliest among the vaccines the Philippines is procuring. This will arrive through the Covax Facility. According to Gaci, the Vaccine Alliance, the Covax Facility aims "to accelerate the development and manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world."

The other vaccines are expected to arrive by the second half of 2021. In a recent radio interview, Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio said some of the AstraZeneca vaccines the city will be getting are expected to arrive around the third quarter of 2021.

Despite the positive developments and optimism towards the Covid-19 vaccines, some individuals are still hesitant to be inoculated with one due to safety concerns. This is quite understandable considering that the vaccines have been developed at a very short timeframe compared to other vaccines on other diseases.

Between now until the time a vaccine is available for you or in your area, it would be a good time to start reading about the vaccines that are being procured by the national government and the local government unit (LGU).

If you really want to know about the vaccine, the pharmaceutical companies have all the necessary information they have on their respective websites.

You can also check peer-reviewed studies in The Lancet, a general medical journal. Peer-reviewed studies on the vaccines of AstraZeneca and Gamaleya Institute are published in The Lancet.

Following credible news or medical sources could also provide you much-needed information on the Covid-19 vaccine you are about to get.

The national government also has to act fast with the communication campaign it will roll out on the vaccination program. It also has to hurdle misinformation challenges, especially on the lingering effects of the Dengvaxia scare around two to three years ago.

As we wait for the vaccines to arrive, let us take this time to understand and know more about the Covid-19 vaccines that will be available to us.


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