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The President meets the vaccines

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

It’s here at last! I am referring to the vaccine against  the  COVID 19, a cargo of which arrived in the Philippines just as I was starting to write this. The vaccine  is the “Sinovac”, from China and the plane carrying it landed at the Villamor Air Base. That is where most V.I.P.s land, and certainly this is a  Very Important Item that is expected, to immunize our people from the plague of the century, alias Coronavirus, that has been confounding medicine and science for some time, causing sickness and death to a lot of people worldwide.

***

So when will the vaccination campaign begin? It arrived at 4 p.m. yesterday and has been causing both excitement and hope among our population. But, difficult as it is to believe, a big percentage of our people are still hesitant to undergo the process. The Chinese named plane  carrying the number 13, I am sure, was treated like a V.I.P. because of its cargo. The TV announcer was making a roll call of the officials present at the airbase, all of them eager, naturally, to be mentioned as among the concerned officials who should be remembered when election time comes around.

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It is being announced, too, as I write this, that President Duterte himself is on the way to Villamor Air Base, and it is certainly proper of him to do so. The next scene I want to see, and which, I am sure other Filipinos are also hoping to see, is His Excellency, President Duterte himself, being administered the first dose of the newly arrived vaccine. I wonder, however, if the amount that arrived is enough to cover our entire population? It should, because, as reported earlier, a big percentage of our people are not willing to undergo it.

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Ah, this is a running commentary. Just now, the President is announced to have arrived at the air base already. Gosh, what a V.I.P. this Sinovac is. It is being explained that one needs two doses of this vaccine. And there is need to keep under observation those vaccinated to watch for adverse reactions. It is also being explained that those vaccinated have to undergo it twice. Me, I think I will just stay in isolation until everybody else has been vaccinated before going out!

***

The arrival of the vaccine may be good news, but together with it is the news also that oil prices are being hiked up again, and by as much as P1.23 per liter! Well, you can’t have everything. Now what I am waiting to see is a photo or TV coverage of the President himself being vaccinated. I am sure he will be bracing himself not to squirm or  “Ouch” as that would not be presidential. I hope and pray, though, that he will not have any allergy or adverse reactions to it. By the way, a doctor interviewed  at the scene stressed that one must be  “medically stable” at the time of vaccination.

***

It was announced that vaccinations will start today. I am sure many will flock to the vaccination centers to avail of it. As for me, I am not sure I want to undergo it, but I certainly will not choose Monday, which is March 1 already. Remember that even William Shakespeare warned against the “Idea of March”?  Health Secretary Francisco, in his reception speech said “Remember, no one is safe, until everyone is safe”. The representative of the Chinese government gave a very good speech to accompany his country’s donation to the Philippines.

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He stressed that China was the first to contain the virus, but didn’t mention that it was also found in a province in China. By the way, have statistics on the COVID infection in China ever been published? In his own speech, the President made a roll call of all the VIPs present on the stage, who must all be delighted at being recognized. The President thanked profusely the Republic of china and its officials for the donation of the vaccine. He also promised that the vaccine will be made available to rich and poor alike.

***    

It was also thoughtful of the President to emphasize the necessity of making use of the vaccine so more Filipinos will be covered. He also was thoughtful enough to remind everybody to wear masks, which I personally believe has been the major reason why our people in Bacolod have avoided the heavy casualties and cases in other places is that the wearing of masks and observance of protocols have been made obligatory in our city with those failing or refusing to do so subject to arrest. For that we should be thankful and continue to observe such protocols for our own good.*

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