Instead of contributing to the effort of government, which she is part of, to shore up public confidence on the mass vaccination program, Vice President Leni Robredo had chosen to add to uncertainties unjustly swirling on the donated Sinovac serum.
Robredo, in her radio program, echoed the views of some government hospital workers that the vaccines from China should be subjected to more tests despite obtaining the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) clearance.
Philippine General Hospital (PGH) doctors particularly wanted the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) to further look into Sinovac to allow health workers an “individual informed decision-making.”
The frontline heroes have the option of first refusal on the medications against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) that is delivered to the country. President Rodrigo Duterte said it is their choice to wait for the brands that they prefer.
The National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG), composed of medical experts, has said the Sinovac vaccines are recommended for use by health care workers.
Dr. Nina Castillo-Carandang, a NITAG member, said an HTAC assessment was no longer required for the arriving 600,000 doses of Sinovac as they are a donation from Beijing,
Robredo then took advantage of the conflicting statement and indicated, “It’s difficult to have this situation because we have always had a communication problem. One agency says it is allowed, while the other says it is not.”
“Whether or not that was donated, we need to protect our fellow Filipinos,” the Vice President retorted.
Less the nonsense of Robredo, the arrival of the Sinovac vials, which will benefit 300,000 Filipinos, considering the two doses needed for the full effect of the jabs, lit up the beacon of hope that the plague is nearing its end.
Sunday’s symbolic occasion in which a Chinese military aircraft delivered the life-saving formula is lost to Robredo’s ambition-clouded mind.
The delivery has the effect of spoiling the narrative that the Duterte administration slept on the job in being left out in the vaccine rollouts.
It would have been perfect for the detractors if the manufacturers frustrate the desire of the country to start the return to normalcy, since it will be a huge political boost considering the polls next year.
Poet Emily Dickinson said hope is the thing with feathers that has announced its presence with the Sinovac shipment.
Its effect would not only be felt by those who will be inoculated, but the economy, as well as businesses, is anticipating the vaccines’ arrival to start the long road to recovery.
After the storm, the light has started to peer through the clouds through the gift from the country’s neighbor.
The President said he considers the donations as a magnanimous act of a friend that he is considering to visit China to personally thank President Xi Jinping, who shares Mr. Duterte’s belief that the vaccines should be treated as a global public good.
Several rich countries have cornered the initial supplies of the vaccines denying poorer nations such as the Philippines access to these.
Had Filipinos been stuck with the likes of Robredo, nothing is expected to move, similar to the lethargy that was the lethal disease that infested the previous regime.