Lobaton: Our plight on the vaccines

Jonathan Lobaton


ALL eyes are now focused on having the vaccine for our people. But the dynamics are on our government agencies on the process and terms that these vaccines will be purchased and administered to recipients.

There is no doubt, the vaccines are the only recourse left for government to protect the people from the coronavirus.

Recently, many local government units all over the country already signed a non-disclosure agreement with a British company, AstraZeneca, for the purchase of the vaccines. This is despite no authorization had been issued from the national government even for emergency use. In fact, it is still hazy on what vaccines are now being reviewed that may be available for public use.

Just like the many dynamics we had in this country, we don’t know what is going on and what direction we are actually following. It is like we are put in a state where our national and local governments are competing in terms of available policies they could invoke as a reason to justify their actions. Sadly, the state of the people will be used as reasons though in many times they were not consulted in the process of decision-making.

In my readings, those countries that have started using vaccines dealt with manufacturers on the state level. In the Philippines, it seemed that initiatives are coming from many sectors and that the national government will just be informed about the choices made on the vaccines.

Our situation has gone to a different style. Instead of coordinating these efforts from the national government, LGUs have pursued dealings with vaccine manufacturers for their purchases. This could be a concern of orderliness in the context of our government arrangement that many might have forsaken because of some reasons.

On the other side, it is also true that we could not prolong the agony of waiting when we believe there is no way to fight this pandemic than to have the soonest vaccine at hand. LGUs may not be blamed for moving ahead with their desire to protect their people from the Covid-19. Should it be a situation that things will have to be coordinated with the national government, the next thing would be on how long they will have to wait for national agencies to act on the needed vaccines.

For now, there is no hint on what vaccine but LGUs have chosen already Astrazeneca for their people. Thus, it shows a disconnect in choices made by our government on the matter of the vaccine.

This uncertainty could be attributed to many things. There may be internal dynamics that are left hidden in the public’s eye that only those they consider “authorized” are the ones holding the future of the vaccines. They might think that the more people are confused about these concerns, the more they will be tired to ask questions about many things.

For one’s realization, it should not only about the choices of these vaccines. It is also about satisfying the people’s query on its efficacy and safety. I hope we will not be taken for a ride in these matters crucial for our survival and the future of our fight against the coronavirus.

Majority of Filipinos are skeptical about the use of vaccines, hence, government is obligated to explain this in forms that would connect down to ordinary individuals.


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