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Batuhan hopes 70% of Filipinos get vaccinated

THE transaction counsel of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) leading to the construction of Cebu City-Cordova bridge said that if the vaccine against Corona Virus Disease (Covid-19) will arrive and 70 percent of the Filipinos will avail, ultimately, the virus will die naturally.

Atty. Aristotle “Totol” Batuhan told Cebu Business Week that we know in the Philippines and rest of the world that it will take years to develop a vaccine, with several trial stages and experiments, starting the tests from animals.

Then the food and drug administration of different countries will apply for authorization to use the vaccine.

He said that with Covid-19 pandemic, the several years of developing a vaccine is compressed to less than a year. They call it in the United States as Operation War Speed to fast tract vaccine making up to stage 3 clinical trial, then apply for emergency use authorization.

As it is done hurriedly, Batuhan said the scientific findings do not have complete testing results. There is now a question of the vaccine’s safety and efficacy.

Another experience peculiar to the Philippines is Dengvaxia, a vaccine against dengue with reported bad effects. There was no clear scientific research on the bad effects. There were only cases filed and stories of adverse effects of Dengvaxia.

With these two factors, Batuhan said a survey and his personal talks with Cebu City people, revealed that at least 40 percent of Filipinos don’t want to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Batuhan is now conducting a series of Webinar called Sugbonar to give additional information on Covid-19 vaccine as people’s awareness.

He said the social media is both a boon and a bane in the sense that it is important to acquire knowledge in our fingertips.

“We just look up at the Internet, but the people are left on their own devices to weigh what is true and what is fake on what they read. Unfortunately, there is a proliferation of fake news and inaccurate reporting which added to their confusion,” Batuhan said.

“We cannot force the people to believe on vaccine and have them vaccinated. It will be okay if it is based on research and knowing the facts. But that is not a wise decision if it is based on what he heard about it or about that,” Batuhan said.

He urged the people not to believe on fake news or gossip, but on scientific findings. ELIAS O. BAQUERO