Editorial January 17, 2021
Does efficacy matter?
THERE appears to be no debate today on who should have priority to be inoculated with the first batches of vaccines to arrive in the country, i.e., medical and health workers, AFP and PNP personnel, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, transport operators, etc.. That’s the general consensus among national and local government policymakers.
But fighting off the deadly virus, like COVID-19, can’t possibly be so simple by deciding when, how and who to administer the vaccine. There is the issue about efficacy and profile of who are qualified to receive vaccines with varying efficacies.
A study and a debate on the issue of efficacy of vaccines will inevitably impact on the decision in determining the priority sectors for the vaccine.
First of all, is a high level of efficacy the final determination of who should get the vaccine? Does the government know enough what’s considered safe and what’s not?
Remember Dengvaxia? Government rushed to inoculate children not realizing that the maker of Dengavxia had stipulated that Dengvaxia should not be given to children who never had a vaccine vs. dengue. Surely, that warning had to do something with the efficacy of Dengvaxia.
Indonesia’s President Widodo’s decision not to include the senior citizens has its merits. By administering a vaccine on the elderly could risk their lives instead of protecting them. At their age, they surely have developed illnesses that could be aggravated by COVID-19 vaccine with a high level of efficacy. We can’t afford ending up with another Dengvaxia.
WITH Congress impeaching Donald J. Trump on Jan. 13, he suffers the ignominy of being the first American president to be impeached twice. He was first impeached last year for abuse of power when he accused Joe Biden’s family of financial wrongdoing with the Ukraine government. But the Republication-controlled Senate sustained Trump. This week, he was impeached again, 232-197, when “he threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a co-equal branch of government as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the U.S.” He was cited for “incitement to insurrection” following the violent riot at the Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 that left five people dead.
Biden will take his oath on Jan. 20, virtually rendering moot a Senate trial to remove Trump. But if the Senate, which reconvenes on Jan. 19, proceeds to sack Trump—Biden’s Democratic party now controls the Senate—Trump is out of the 2024 presidential derby. Seemingly, Trump’s doomed? Way to go.
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