With most of us are desperate to get out of this COVID-19 nightmare, promises of a vaccine are a spark of hope. Any news about a potential vaccine antidote catches our attention and hopes that the health crisis we are enduring will finally dissipate.
This current pandemic shows how little promises lifts our despair in the midst of these trying times. How desperate we become for an absolution.
The world’s nations race towards time in hopes to slow down the contagion of the virus, spending efforts on researches on the discovery and in the long run, the invention of the counter weapon to the biggest health crisis today.
Notable research facilities all over the world had been studying the virus since announced by the World Health Organization (WHO) classifying the virus outbreak as a pandemic in March earlier this year.
Scientists across the world are performing loads of researches and in-depth studies on how the deadly virus behaves. The race towards the discovery of a vaccine had rather become a worldwide quest and oddly became a competition on which country could save the world from the COVID-19 wrath.
According to WHO, there are more than 150 vaccines under development with 26 already in human trials.
However, this past month of July, Russia had broken the race and had made the announcement of their laboratory-made vaccine under the Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute for Epidemiology and Microbiology. With Russia’s President Vladimir Putin claimed they have developed the “first coronavirus vaccine in the world” called SPUTNIK V, named after the world’s first satellite launched in 1957.
The country had claimed SPUTNIK V’s safety and effectivity despite its brief manufacture as it completed clinical trials in just two months and is now beginning the undergoing of the phase-three trial in Moscow, which will be also held in the Philippines simultaneously.
Department of Science and Technology Philippine Council for Health and Research (DOST-PCHR) met with Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute and decided that it will be beneficial for the Philippines to join the trial, according to DOST-PCHR Executive Director Dr. Jaime Montoya (Tan, CNN Philippines)
President Rodrigo Duterte accepted Russia’s offer of free trial of the vaccine so much that he volunteered himself to partake in the said trials. He pressed that he is grateful to Putin for offering assistance to our country during these challenging times. He also beamed with pride as he informed that Russia will pay for the trials, pressing the two nation’s friendship.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque claimed that the President will take the vaccine as part of the trial by May 1 next year. But still needs to have a go-signal from his Presidential Security Group.
However, despite the praises for Russia in formulating a vaccine in such a short span of time, there are a lot of skepticism blitzing it. Many of which were concerns about its safety. Because usually, a vaccine undergoes complex procedures before releasing and it takes years. In an online article of CNBC, Noah -Dunn cited that the fastest-ever vaccine development, for mumps, took more than Higgins four years before it was licensed in 1967.
President Duterte’s move was quite bold, but is unnecessary. As a leader, he always displays dominance by being careless and abrupt. We can see it by the way he talks and make decisions. But that kind of outlook is not what we need
during these times. Professionalism should go before enthusiasm. He accepted the offer with so much enthusiasm and made a move to publicize he’d be the first president to ever be vaccinated with it.
We all are used to his bold promises—most of which all remained forgotten. But as he and his supporters always points out, he is not your usual President. He is different. He is a game-changer. But that didn’t hide the fact that his performance didn’t unite people specifically during this time but divided it. And it didn’t hide the government’s poor handling of the pandemic.
This period of health crisis is not a time for showing off.
You can’t win the admiration of the masses if you make hasty decisions without considering your own safety. There are precautions to everything, even if that thing underwent major cutting-edge Russian laboratories. The welfare of the leader is the welfare of all.
As critical as I am of the President, I do not wish him ill. As one of all Filipinos and the people of the world, I hope for the complete dissipation of the COVID-19 and the only way to acquire that is having a complete antidote—a safe and secure vaccine to counter the deadly virus that is stripping our health and sanity.