February 5, 2023

While some countries like New Zealand and Vatican City were successful in eradica-ting the spread of the Covid-19, countries like the Philippines has just begun the vaccination. Two months after the start of vaccination program, only 2.1 percent of the country’s population received their doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Among the priorities for vaccination are senior citizens classified as A2. The prioritization framework for senior citizens significantly contributes to the fact that older adults are at higher risk and the death rate among the senior citizens due to Covid-19 is increasing rapidly. Unfortunately, only six percent of the senior citizens population in the Philippines got vaccinated either because of the slow rollout of the vaccines or simply they do not want to as they were discouraged due to the spread of false information about the Covid-19 vaccine.
My mother is a senior citizen and the possibility that she might contract the virus through other people or worse, by me has been a concern taking into account that neither of us can’t totally stay at home. Thankfully, the vaccines in Baguio City are administered consistently; however the real problem is that my mother was hesitant to get vaccinated. Convincing her to get her shot was like asking a pig to fly and I know I speak for everyone when I say that persuading the elders to get vaccinated is out of the question, mainly because of the rumor about the vaccines they heard somewhere. Rumor has it, vaccines are dangerous as its aftermath causes complications which eventually lead to death, and apparently a fellow senior citizen told this news to my mother. It was hard to make my mother disregard such irrelevant information; however, after months of convincing her, recently she got her first dose. Nothing is more fulfilling knowing full well that my mother is safe from the threats of the virus.
The spread of false information about Covid-19 vaccine provokes the people – the vulnerable ones – senior citizens in particular, to refuse the vaccine whichever poses precarious menace both in the triumph of battling against the Covid-19 as well as to public health and welfare. Vaccine spells out the protection and immunity that senior citizens need and the more this false information continues to cause mass hysteria, the more it would be difficult to stamp out the spread of Covid-19. Stop suppressing them from securing the protection they need by spreading misleading information.
Encourage them instead to get vaccinated as this can keep them healthy while contributing to the achievement of herd immunity. Senior citizens are priorities for a reason. Some of us may have a strong immune system against the Covid-19 but the elders don’t. No one needs protection from Covid-19 more than they do. Let the vaccine get them first, before the virus does. (MERLY ANNE A. MANANDEG)