SEN. Imee R. Marcos’ argument that in the choice of COVID-19 vaccines, concerned government authorities ought to give weight to vaccines that included more Asian participants in their efficacy trials.
And Senator Marcos’ line, in our view, should not be “drowned” by the arguments of those pushing for their favorite vaccine, which helps our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19.
“Let us not completely turn a deaf ear to the timely suggestion of the highly-articulate lady lawmaker from Ilocos Norte (IN),” according to a former village official of Pindangan East, Alcala, Pangasinan.
“Tama naman si Ma’am Imee. Kailangang hiyang sa mga Asyano, kagaya nating mga Pinoy, ang gagamiting bakuna laban sa nakamamatay na COVID-19,” said ex-Barangay Kagawad Pancho M. Dingle.
“Beside cost, cold storage requirements, ease of use, and the media hype, we must not overlook the Asian factor in choosing the safest vaccines for Filipinos,” said the eldest daughter of the late President Marcos and former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos.
Citing reports from the US Food and Drug Administration, Marcos said that three vaccines that got emergency use authorization (EUA) in the West had conducted trials in which less than 5% of participants were Asians.
On the other hand, only 4.7% of participants in Moderna’s vaccine trials were Asians, while the medical journal “The Lancet” reported that Asians averaged only 4.4% in the UK and Brazil trials for the AstraZeneca vaccine.
And in India, health experts called for a greater participation of its ethnically diverse groups before the government grants an EUA for Western-made COVID-19 vaccines.
Indeed, participatory democracy “flourishes” when all the people, including the army of constructive critics and the ordinary citizens across the Philippines, are listened to.
It’s certainly good for the country and the Filipino people.