Who will get shot?

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    ‘…a big majority of other LGU units are simply waiting for the national government to provide the needed doses for their people – doses that apparently will come from the Chinese manufacturers and priced at…. no one can seem to say at this time.’

    AS some countries begin the inoculation of their citizens – starting, of course, with their leaders who choose to get shot in public – there is a growing anticipation here in the Philippines for that day when we begin our own.

    I, for one, digest every little piece of news I can find about the vaccination rollout elsewhere just as I read every message sent in every chat groups I am a part of, including one set up particularly for the AstraZeneca vaccine to be rolled out by the government in partnership with GoNegosyo.

    I have no illusions that we can get vaccinated soon, but I have no doubt that getting this done is central to any hopes for a real and sustained economic recovery in the country.

    That’s why I am keeping my seatbelt strapped on because I know that it is going to be a wild ride between getting from where we are today to the point where a significant number of Filipinos have been “shot,” and twice at that.

    I am not even factoring into the equation yet the fact that some of us – like many elsewhere in the world – have misgivings about getting vaccinated, precisely the reason why national leaders elsewhere in the world get their shots in public.

    Even without that, you see, the situation here is made compacted by the fact that some local government units had the foresight – and the money – to move quickly on their own and enter into agreements with vaccine manufacturers to be able to secure enough doses for their constituents. News reports seem to indicate that the vaccine of choice for these LGU-driven programs is the one by AstraZeneca, specially priced at US$10 for two shots under a “no gain, no loss” arrangement covering a limited number of doses.

    But the number of LGUs that have been able to enter into such arrangements seem to be very few, mainly LGUs in Metro Manila and a handful more outside. Meaning that a big majority of other LGU units are simply waiting for the national government to provide the needed doses for their people – doses that apparently will come from the Chinese manufacturers and priced at…. no one can seem to say at this time.

    And this is where the situation can turn dicey, when some people start getting shot under vaccination programs launched by their LGUs (who have money) while many others sit and wait. And that it will happen during the run-up to an election just adds to the combustibility of the situation: potential voters will want to get vaccinated and politicians know that it can be politically fatal for them if they fall to deliver.

    Exciting times ahead, yes?

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