By Icoy San Pedro

JUST the other day, I read that, after a major push to continue with vaccination efforts, we have finally surpassed the intended target for the numb of people vaccinated in the country. That’s good news indeed. Surely, with the opening classes and the start of the face-to-face sessions, I’m certain a lot of the parents out there will feel reassured that their children are now safe and treading on less dangerous grounds. 

If one stopped to notice, practically all the public transports are back to being filled with passengers, with no more restrictions to social distancing (even though many still feel that it’s in place.) I was in a bus for a short trip last week and it really felt strange when someone sat beside me and occupied the empty seat next to mine. For the longest time, no one had been allowed to sit together and that even included couples. 

However, hating to be cousin to the boy who once cried wolf, may I be excused if I begged to offer a little squeak. We  might have exceeded the number of people vaccinated but the fact remains, the virus, though weakened, is still very much out there.

Last year, when my family, under restrictions by health authorities, ordered that we three undergo home quarantine for fifteen days, had already been recipients to the then-necessary two shots when Delta hit. Being a senior, I could only imagine the repercussions if we three had not received any vaccines at all. (I know of some unvaccinated friends who have succumbed to Covid.) Last month, despite already having our booster shots, we have again tested positive…and as a dubious reward, rightfully earned another five-day sentence each.  Though I try to present this as lightly as possible, the feeling is no laughing matter. The discomfort of even the reduced down-to flu-like symptoms is real. 

Along the backstreets hidden from our surpassing vaccination targets, there remains the reality that only viewer people are opting to get their booster shots. I have heard neighbors saying that one and two shots are enough, while others insist that one booster shot will do the trick. Their reasons for this vary. Many however relate that the one- or two-days recovery period, with minor pains in the arm and mild fever for some, limit their ability to go back to work. As a result, they decide to forgo with booster shots altogether. As for my son whom we offered to have a second booster shot via another vaccine, he opted to remain straight Astra, after being told he no longer needed a second shot if he did so.

The possibility of this reduced number of people opting for boosters may not be a pleasant topic but  I feel that it should be addressed by health officials somehow. True, the new variety may just be like the common flu nowadays but isn’t that the same as thinking ‘if there’s a thing like the common cold, then it must be ok to have a cold.’

Source: Mindanao Times (