* This is my column in BusinessWorld last week. CDC PH participation in the June 12 event did not push through, the group is apolitical and just wanted to lift the lockdown, have focused protection of the vulnerables and frontliners, while the other groups were pushing a very political agenda like "revolutionary government."
This is a follow up to this column’s earlier piece on vaccination rates, https://www.bworldonline.com/vaccination-rates-and-lockdown/, which came out on May 1. I have expanded the number of countries included and updated the vaccination rates (at least one dose was given) up to June 5. Many countries though submit their reports late.
Most countries in the world follow a general trend of declining COVID-19 cases and deaths as vaccination rates increase. This is not a direct causality as there are many factors to consider including natural herd immunity, the use of repurposed drugs like Ivermectin, better hygiene, etc.
Then there are many countries that defy this trend, as their vaccination rates increase, the number of cases and deaths also increase or remain high. Clear examples are Seychelles, Bahrain, Mongolia, and the UAE (vaccination rates 52% to 72%).
The charts here show the COVID-19 cases (source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries) for some Asian and Middle-East countries and South American countries. Compare these with their vaccination rates as a percentage of total country population which I list below (source: https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations?country):
VACCINATION RATES (ASIA/MIDDLE EAST)
June 5: Bahrain 58.7%, Mongolia 57.1%, Sri Lanka 9%, Indonesia 6.4%, Vietnam 1.2%;
June 4: Malaysia 7.1%, Taiwan 2.8%;
June 3: Cambodia 16.1%;
May 30: Philippines 3.6%, Thailand 3.6%;
April 20: the UAE 51.5%;
April 18: Kuwait 19.2%.
VACCINATION RATES (SOUTH AMERICA)
June 5: Uruguay 56.0%, Dominican Republic 34.9%,
Argentina 23.8%, Brazil 22.8%, Colombia 15.4%, Suriname 12.8%, Bolivia 12.4%;
June 4: Chile 58.2%, Peru 9.0%;
June 3: Cuba 13.8%, Ecuador 9.6%;
June 1: Costa Rica 19.9%;
May 25: Seychelles 71.6%.
Thus, there is no truth to the general narrative that “all anti-COVID vaccines are safe and effective in reducing cases and deaths.” We should remember that all of these anti-COVID vaccines have no approval yet for long-term safety and efficacy, they were just given emergency use authorization (EUA) on the distorted assumption that there is no proven treatment against the virus and its variants and mutants.
On June 12, Araw ng Kalayaan or Independence Day, several groups and NGOs led by the Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the PH (CDC PH), Gising Maharlika Patriots, Kilusang Demokratikong Pilipinas (KDP), and some legislators at the House of Representatives, will reassert the people’s Constitutional freedom and human rights. Our freedom of mobility, freedom to open up businesses and schools, freedom to use proven safe and efficacious treatment options against COVID-19 like Ivermectin, freedom to choose to get vaccinated or not.
The event is called Katotohanan, Karapatan at Kapatiran para sa Kalayaan (KKK). All these 15 months of government lockdown and mandatory quarantines, many medical truths have been distorted and many human rights and individual freedom have been curtailed. Since CDC PH was formed in September 2020, it has been consistently calling for lifting the lockdown via focused protection for the vulnerable and frontliners while allowing the young and healthy to go out and not paralyze many sectors of the economy.
There will be a motorcade of hundreds of cars, motorcycles, and bicycles, from UP Diliman and other assembly areas in Quezon City, to several landmarks in Manila with short programs.
The economic damages of indefinite lockdown in the Philippines keep piling up. From having the worst GDP performance in 2020 and first quarter 2021 in the whole of Asia, to huge rise in public debt that will require huge taxes and fees in the future, to rising bank non-performing loans (NPLs), etc.
Economic freedom, individual freedom, less government
restrictions and prohibitions. We should reassert these principles this coming
June 12 and beyond.
BWorld 488, GDP contraction, government overspending, and non-green recovery, May 23, 2021
BWorld 489, Should we return to the office? May 28, 2021
BWorld 490, Net zero carbon emission and net zero growth, June 08, 2021.