THE tendency of some Filipinos to choose the vaccine they want the government to inoculate them reminds me of my own attitude during raffles. When the party host begins announcing the winners of the minor prizes, I always wish that my number won’t be called because it forfeits my chance of winning the major prize. I thought that was par for the course, sort of, until I went home without winning anything. That was when I appreciated winning a minor prize. “Maayo na lang kay sa wa,” as we Cebuanos would say.

Our preference for vaccines other than Sinovac was shown by Manilans who flocked to the site where the vaccine made by the firm Pfizer was used. That prompted authorities to stop announcing the kind of vaccine that would be used in the inoculation against Covid-19. Our lack of confidence in a Chinese-made product is not surprising, though, considering previous experience. But vaccines are different because of the number of people who are invested in their efficacy.

So I like the answer of the Department of Health to the question on which vaccine is effective: the best vaccine is the one which is available. That means that if the government starts vaccinating in your area, then go immediately to the nearest vaccination site. Vaccination, after all, is a two-way street. Its success is dependent on both the one doing the vaccination and the one being vaccinated.

The point is that even among priority sectors like the senior citizens, the percentage of those who had themselves vaccinated is still small. That was what the doctor who gave me my second jab of Sinovac told me. He asked me to campaign for vaccination in our neighborhood. I did, until my recent health scare hit me. I still do not know how much that health scare contributed to the misconceptions going around about the vaccines.

I still have to recover fully. As they say, when it rains, it pours. Just when I no longer feel fatigued, my left heel suffered a strain and I could not walk far. I am limping and that hopefully is the last problem I am encountering in this recent health episode I am experiencing. I am waiting for the pain to finally go away.

By the way, vaccination should not inspire such overconfidence that we would fully let go of the minimum health protocols we have been following. Those who are already vaccinated may still get the coronavirus and may not fall ill or if they fall ill the symptoms are mild. Either way, they could spread the virus to other people.

This is worrisome, especially if not all of those in one family have been vaccinated. The danger still looms large because Covid-19 is still to be fully stopped in its tracks. We cannot talk of normalcy with the virus still having the capacity to spread everywhere and fast. This is what the term “new normal” is about. This is about living life with minimum health protocols becoming part of it. This is about health concerns becoming part of our daily priorities.