February 3, 2023

VACCINATION LINE IS NOT FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED

As the challenge on the scarcity of vaccines remains to bother millions of Filipinos wanting to get the vaccine shots, the public should continue to be vigilant and call out concerned offices and individuals committing lapses in the implementation of the Covid-19 vaccination program.
In the Cordillera, vaccination for the priority groups, primarily healthcare frontliners, has been seamless so far, except that what was supposed to be a good start was marred by reports of some unmindful individuals getting the vaccine jabs even if it is not their turn yet to be inoculated.
It saddens us when cases of jumping the vaccine line is even committed in one of the vaccination sites in Baguio, which is being looked up to as a model in the government’s response to the pandemic.
It must be noted that the national Inter-Agency Task Force and local government units came up with the vaccination plans for a reason: the supply of vaccines is limited not only in the Philippines but also throughout the globe.
As such, there was a need to identify those who should first receive the vaccine, which, under the plans, are the people who are at the frontlines in the battle against the Covid-19 followed by those who are vulnerable of contracting the virus and those with health conditions.
Those who jumped the line to have the Covid-19 shots and those who plan or insist to be vaccinated first even if they do not belong to the priority sectors should understand that their selfish act will jeopardize the vaccination program in the country.
People who feel privileged must understand that the World Health Organization might not provide the Philippines’ vaccine supply if this attitude of always wanting to be the first to be served continues.
The WHO has earlier warned the Philippines’ supply from the Covax facility – which ensures equitable vaccine distribution – might be cut if the priority list for vaccinees continues to be disregarded.
For the nth time, we appeal to the conscience of individuals, who only think about their welfare, to prioritize the common good. The Philippines cannot afford to lose its vaccine allocation from the WHO. The free vaccines from the Covax facility is a great help for the government, which is already struggling to purchase vaccines on its own.
Let us not complicate this by putting our opportunity to be allotted free doses in danger.
We share the appeal of the Department of Health and other agencies for the public to wait for their turn to be vaccinated.
We also call on the people who are administering the anti-Covid-19 shots and those who know the vaccination protocols to educate those who may have limited knowledge or barely understand the procedures of the inoculation to maintain order as we await the arrival of more vaccines.
Everybody will eventually have their anti-Covid-19 shots, as that is a moral obligation by governments around the world to their constituents; but in the meantime that supply remains limited, it is also our moral duty as citizens to not deprive those who needed the vaccines the most. Let us not jump the line.