Don’t get the offered vaccine.

Last September, Reuters published a report regarding Duterte’s disapproval of reserving vaccines from “Western countries.” He hesitated from choosing to reserve doses of the vaccine, instead opting for China because “[t]he one good thing about China is that you do not have to beg, you do not have to plead … one thing wrong about the Western countries, it’s all profit, profit, profit.”

Vaccine production needs money, because experimentation and research need money. While it is also about profit, I don’t think these countries can be blamed for making sure, because that is the nature of business. Many other countries all over the world had made their reservations. The vaccine business functions like any good restaurant: people who have made their paid reservations are the ones who are prioritized for the available seats.

As a result, we have staked our lives on the safety of a vaccine with a questionable history, Sinovac. No less than the Washington Post has described its colorful history with bribery and corruption. As a medical doctor, do I trust a company with such a spotty history?

The simple answer is “no.”

I would recommend people to be inoculated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, but unless there are more robust studies from Gamaleya or Sinovac, people should avoid being injected with those vaccines. We have already lost our chance with procuring the better vaccines because our leader is a troglodyte who has failed to grasp the basic nature of economics and business.

My projections for 2021 isn’t as positive as many people, but it’s rooted in cautious realism. Outside securing 2.6 million doses from AstraZeneca, all we have are negotiations to secure vaccines from Sinovac. Let’s not forget that the government is prone to blind optimism. Experts, however, are a lot more wary about their projections. I’m personally hoping that wider vaccination drives of more reputable vaccines will get to start by early 2022.

My advice is to focus on the health regulations we have practiced to protect ourselves for this year. Let’s wear masks (surgical or N95), avoid touching our face, practice social distancing, and also wear face shields or facial protection whenever we do go out of our homes.

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