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Earlier vaccination

The disarray at the national level in the acquisition of the vaccines against Covid-19 proves disappointing for an administration led by what his loyal supporters described as the best president in the universe.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte promised the vaccines by the end of 2020 would be his strategy against Covid-19. The end of the pandemic in the Philippines should signal the start of our economic comeback. However, 2020 ended with acquisition controversies.

The presidents’ guards got injected with vaccines described by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana as smuggled. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. accused Health Secretary Francisco Duque III as having messed up acquisition of the USmade vaccine. The president himself prefers the Chinese-made Sinovac which is reported to be the most expensive and only 50% in efficacy. The national budget for buying vaccines is but a small percentage compared to other administration priorities.

Nevertheless, the New Year presents hope. No matter the controversies now, vaccines will arrive within the year. The earliest would be this March. Considering the lack of money and perhaps supplies for poorer countries like ours, not all will receive their first does within the year.

Still, can the administration risk not inject vaccines to potential voters by October 2021? Or perhaps by the end of this year? Will they not, despite the incompetence, move heaven and earth to provide their potential supporters with these protection against Covid-19? If they can import smuggled vaccines just to protect the president, they can move to increase the chances of victory for his successor.

The same question can be hurled at other political players. We can even challenge our tycoons. If you want to be at the forefront of post-Covid economic recovery, you should ensure your stakeholders, and that includes employees, suppliers, and even customers, are inoculated against the coronavirus.

The New Year’s resolution for 2021 should be early vaccination.