Our own covid vaccine?
There is now a covid vaccine being tested here in the Philippines. They are using officers of the Philippine National Police as guinea pigs. Many of them, however, are refusing to be experimented on. A popular alibi is that it is against a policeman’s beliefs. No one can argue against cultural or religious beliefs.
Probably, this was the vaccine that the Russian ambassador to the Philippines offered for manufacturing here in a joint venture between the two governments. When the offer of a Russian covid vaccine was first made public, the medical community here raised a hue and cry. They said, the vaccine was not clinically tested enough for ferret out possible side effects and to determine how effective it really is. So now it is being clinically tested at the risk of the health of thousands of Filipinos.
If Russia really has an effective vaccine why is the number of covid cases and deaths continue to spike in Russia? About 25,000 of Russians already lost their lives to covid and new cases are in the vicinity of 16,000 everyday and still rising. In no time, 2 million Russians will already have the disease. As of now, about 1.6 million of them are infected and many of them will compose the hundreds of dead every 24 hours.
But beggars cannot be choosers so we place the lives of thousands of our citizens on the line—being a poor country that we are.
Yet other poor countries who cared about the health of their people are not beggars when it came to medicines. Take, for instance, India. It is known for the poorest of the poor street denizens, but just like many democratic countries a good number of its people are filthy rich. At least when it came to medicines their government can be called competent or had foresight. India is now known as the world’s pharmacy and it has 60% of the world’s vaccines. They are confident they will have 3 or 4 covid vaccines early next year as they are now in the clinical trial stage of these. And many foreign giant drug companies are now talking with Indian pharmaceutical companies for the mass production of their (foreign) vaccines.
Another poor country which has a developed drug industry is Pakistan. In a joint venture with China, they already are in the clinical trial phase of one covid vaccine.
As usual, with all the big talk of our politicians, we are way down the line when it came to pharmaceutical capability. So to be able manufacture our own covid vaccine is an unattainable dream.**