CORRECT me if I’m wrong.
According to my calculations, only around 25 percent of the frontliners at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) will be injected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine today, March 4, 2021.
Let me rephrase that.
Only 768 of the hospital’s 2,987 health care workers have agreed to be inoculated with CoronaVac, a vaccine manufactured by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac, and donated by the Chinese government.
Of course, the number can change.
Initially, around 2,500 of them were willing to be vaccinated. That is, until they found out that the vaccine was coming from China. So many more may back out on the day of reckoning. Or, it can go the other way.
I shouldn’t use the word “back out,” though. Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr. wouldn’t like that. They’re just apprehensive, he said.
The Cebuano word the head of the VSMMC used was “dili kompyansa,” meaning having no confidence.
To show the public that he doesn’t share their sentiment, Aquino, along with retired general Melquiades Feliciano, chief implementer of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Visayas, will get jabbed today.
And it’s good to know that they are not the only ones who don’t have any qualms about a China-made vaccine. Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak will also be at the ceremonial inoculation to get vaccinated.
Even though the government has been very specific on the order of priority recipients, Tumulak, who is not a medical frontliner, said he wanted to be injected so he would know firsthand the vaccine’s effect on his body and then he could share the information with the public.
Of course, Aquino, who is a doctor, and the 768 medical frontliners are in a much better position to do that. But hey, who am I to question the good councilor’s noble intentions?
Tumulak did not say if he was bringing along a member of his family. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if he did. After all, he is Filipino. And let me not be hypocritical. If I had the chance to jump the line, I would grab it. And I would do everything to ensure that members of my immediate family would be right behind me. And I wouldn’t care if the vaccine came from Timbuktu, or maybe I should, but that’s not the point.
So I don’t blame Tumulak for not letting the chance pass. Not at all. In fact, he should be commended for his spirit of volunteerism. Hopefully, his move will inspire other VSMMC frontliners to change their mind and not wait for a “better” option.
After all, to quote an official of the Philippine Nurses Association 7, “The brand is just a secondary criterion.”