By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Ralph Recto

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Thursday made an appeal to the public not to “demonize” coronavirus vaccines in terms of its origin.

“We should not demonize a vaccine because of its country of origin. Let science be the guide, not superstition,” Recto said in a statement.

Recto made the reaction after an announcement from Malacañang that 600,000 vaccine doses from Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac are set to arrive in the Philippines on February 23.

Out of 600,000 doses, Malacañang said that some 100,000 doses are donated by Chinese government to the country’s Department of National Defense (DND).

However, Sinovac has yet to secure an emergency use authorization from the Food and drug Administration (FDA). So far, the country’s regulator already granted EUA to vaccines manufactured by United States pharmaceutical firm Pfizer and British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca.

Furthermore, Recto stressed the territorial dispute between the China and Philippines is a separate issue from the vaccine procurement.

“We can contest one issue and cooperate on others. At kung bigay ang mga bakunang iyan, we should say ‘Kung Hei Fat Choi and Maraming Salamat Po!” he said.

“If our scientists from UP (University of the Philippines) and the FDA will say after thorough evaluation that it is good, then who are we to doubt their findings? Science is the light that will lead us out of pandemic darkness,” Recto went on.

“Knee-jerk reaction against anything Made in China does not help in the fight against Covid-19. And any doubt on any vaccine in particular fuels vaccine hesitancy in general,” the lawmaker added.

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