SKIPPING 2ND DOSE SPOILS BID FOR HERD IMMUNITY
The increasing number of individuals getting their anti-Covid-19 shots should not be a reason for the public to be complacent as there are other factors that contribute to the increasing number of infections.
So far, Covid-19 vaccines available in the country require two doses.
As of June 3, the Department of Health-Cordillera reported 89,094 received their first dose and 36,989 were inoculated with their second dose.
The increasing number of Filipinos in the priority sectors who were vaccinated and the growing number of individuals interested to receive their vaccines are good news.
Not consoling, however, are reports about vaccinees who failed to go back to the sites for their second dose.
We find as unfortunate the report of the Inter-Agency Task Force technical working group that 50 percent of those administered with the first dose did not go back for their second dose.
One of the reasons cited is the vaccinees’ fear of the adverse effects they experienced after getting their shots.
Health experts have time and again explained the adverse effects – at least those that are not fatal – following vaccination are normal, as these are signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes the Covid-19.
In the Cordillera, the DOH said the reported side effects are minimal so far and the few who experienced worst effects have been managed well.
Receiving only one dose of a vaccine that requires two doses is not protection at all.
The efforts done to protect the public would all go to waste if the eligible population fails to complete their doses.
Achieving herd immunity is already a challenge. Let us not make things more difficult by not getting the complete dose of the vaccine we waited for a year to be developed.
As we call on those who remain skeptical of the vaccine to trust science and register for vaccination, we call on those who were prioritized for the vaccination to complete their doses. By doing so, they are not only protecting themselves, but also the people around them.
Those who refuse to get their second dose should realize there are a lot of people wanting to be vaccinated but are patiently waiting for their turn because they respect the vaccine prioritization.
They should not make a mockery of the vaccination process, which was meticulously planned by the government and global health authorities for equitable distribution – by not subjecting themselves to the second dose.
By now, we should have understood that the vaccine is our best protection against the pandemic.
We also call on the government to speed up the vaccination process, to never stop encouraging the doubtful vaccinees, and to ensure that vaccines are available for the second dose.
The government should not discount the fact that some failed to get their second dose because of lack of vaccine supply. To deprive vaccinees of their second dose because of failure to secure the vaccines for them is a grave wrongdoing. No vaccinee should be deprived of their right to be fully vaccinated.
We still have a long way to go before this pandemic that has massively impacted our lives is over.
For now, let us abide by the minimum public health and safety protocols and subject ourselves to vaccination when our turn comes and complete the doses.
These, at the very least, are the things we could do to help in the battle against the Covid-19 so that soon, we will be able to remove our facemasks and shields, be able to get closer to the people we value, and lead normal lives again.