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EDITORIAL: Embrace Civility

The remarkable efficiency and speed posted during the recent two-day massive vaccination efforts (Naga Vax Express) of the Department of Health, LGU Naga, the Office of Vice President Leni G. Robredo, and volunteers that saw the inoculation of more than 6,000 individuals with the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine sends very loud messages.

Having at least 70 percent of the national population vaccinated in a much expeditious manner is attainable. It is a matter of adopting better means of implementing the vaccination program. No need for highhandedness. Offering “ayuda” is a very cheap approach usually resorted to by “epalitikos”, aside from indirectly demeaning self-respecting individuals.

The voluntary appearance at the vaccination sites of the would-be vaccinees disproves the claim that people do not like being inoculated. It is a matter of approach. And the most effective way is to treat the subject with civility and compassion. The moment they notice that those already vaccinated did not experience the baseless fear of adverse side effects, they will on their own present themselves at the vaccination sites.

Almost certainly, the appearance of Vice President Robredo at the vaccination sites will be subjected to negative comments and may even be described also as a political stance. So be it. Anyway, it is a matter of conscience. Moreover, who shall we give positive points? Those who just to cover up the limited anti Covid-19 vaccine supply and personnel resort to highhandedness, or those who practice leadership in action?

Resort to threats causes much repulsion to the citizenry. Those in power must have realized this already that is why instead of using “herd immunity” they have already shifted to “population protection.” This way people are treated as humans, not as animals.

Besides, there is the possibility that many have trooped to the vaccination areas because of the information that Johnson & Johnson vaccine is already enough just for one dose.

Consequently the hesitancy of others to be inoculated with the two doses still remains. Doubts on their percentage are still a factor to contend with.

Also of urgent concern is the seeming practice of some quarters especially in the social media of posting oversolicitous assertions on the ill-effects of vaccination, to the point of prophesying that the vaccination efforts are but part of population control and those that had themselves inoculated would in due time die .

In defense of the freedom of expression, those who employ this somewhat unsolicited pronouncements may be entitled to their opinion, but not to the extent of being contributory to the added stress of the already stressed vaccinees. If those who insist not to be vaccinated still persist, they are free to do so. Not to the extent however of putting those already vaccinated on the edge.

Even if we eventually agree that the assertion of the oversolicitous may be worth considering, still it is water under the bridge. The element has already been injected. The most that they can do -- those who maintain that vaccination is folly -- is to shut up or pray for the safety of those already vaccinated.

Otherwise, there is a left-handed manifestation of care. Or are they scared of the long needle?


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