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Top five learnings from the Sinovac vaccine scare (and its redemption) in the Philippines

Many Filipinos took the government to task upon learning that the first vaccines to be supplied to us versus COVID-19 was Sinovac. The reason- unlike other vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Aztrazeneca, Sinovac is made in China. But since it has come to our shores, the orders for Sinovac has risen- after health workers, some LGUs and soldiers went to get their Sinovac vaccine shots, with nary a health complaint after.

That’s why I decided to come up with this list–to give myself some perspective on what we can learn from the brouhaha over Sinovac.

Free Person Holding Syringe and Vaccine Bottle Stock Photo

1. All it takes is someone to try it first

As soon as a person in a leadership position got the vaccine. The fears surrounding the vaccine is the work of over-zealous or scared folks who have nothing to do but to make certain that others feel their fear, as well. And then, of course, the conversations on mass and social media  on Sinovac made it worse.                                                            

2. Do not discriminate products just because they are made in China

China is where the virus came from. It makes sense, then, that they are way ahead other nations in discovering the means to fight it. The sub-par or knock-off products from China should not be the basis of our judgment of them. Remember, they are also the makers of Huawei, Xiaomi, Gree, Haier and is home to Alibaba, Tiktok and WhatsAPP.

3. People, specially health workers who got vaccinated say they are more scared to die of COVID-19 than to get vaccinated

When it comes from health workers, then I wouldn’t want to doubt their words. Getting a needle in your arm is certainly less terrifying than dying, is it not?

4. The illness and various symptoms that’s supposed to come from having a vaccine shot is not confined to Sinovac

Nor is it confined to having a COVID-19 shot. (Read people–you also get sick when you get a chickenpox vaccine or a flu vaccine).

5. Do not judge a vaccine based on price

Just because Sinovac is the cheapest, doesn’t mean it’s the least effective or least safe. Remember, Sinovac is made in China and, safe to assume, is the one used in the vaccination of many Chinese (particularly in Wuhan). But do you hear news of increasing death rates in China after being vaccinated with Sinovac?

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