Thursday, August 12, 2021

Covid vaccination : You have a choice but not everyone does

One day a friend from Malaysia sent me the photo above, showing on her TV screen, 110000 French were on the street protesting against the indirect mandatory covid vaccination. I don't watch TV anymore, so most of the time hubby would update me some news. Apparently starting from the 21th of July, anyone who wants to go to a place that hosts more than 50 people, would need to show a health pass. It could be a pass proving that one has got the the two shots of vaccination minimum one week ago, a recent negative Covid test (under 48 hours) or a recent recovery from Covid. It would be extended to entrance to restaurants, bars, cinemas, museums, August. So for someone who is against taking the vaccinations, he or she would have to take the Covid test every two three days in order to access these places. Currently the Covid test is still free, but the government would ask the French to pay from their own pockets soon. Some French don't like to be forced to do something, thus they go on the street and protest.

Before continuing on the Covid vaccination, I thought about the parking policy in my company. When I was working in R town, we had a ground floor and outdoor parking spots. Ground floor spots were reserved for managerial employees, the majority of the employees had to park outdoor which was not enough to host everyone, so some had to park in a public parking. I thought this was reasonable, until I got transfered to N town. When we moved to a new building, there was also a ground floor and outdoor parkings. This time, the management had decided to grant everyone the equal access right. Everyone has the access card to ground floor, base on first come first serve basic. I was shocked at the decision but now I think it is quite normal.

I just want to tell those protesting on the street, that you should consider yourself lucky because you get to choose to take the vaccinations or not. In certain countries, people are living in anguish, fear and uncertainly because they don't know when it will be their turn to get the shots.

In France, we have to wait for our turn to get the vaccinations according to our age range. The priorities were given to the elderies and the first line medical workers. At the beginning, it was very hard to get an appointment. Hubby's grandma was so frustruted as she didn't know how to reserve a timeslot online. My mother in laws helped her but the spots got taken so quickly they had to keep trying. After a while the process was becoming fluid, and I patiently waited for my turn. On the 31th of May, the vaccinations were opened to everyone above 18 years old and under 50 years old. The websites got congested and I couldn't get a spot. At that time, I realized that most of my friends had already gotten their spots because before the 31th of May, when there were spots left, those under 50s could go and grab them. Anyway, several days after, many spots were added and I managed to get timeslots for both me and hubby at the vaccination center closest to our place. A few days later, I went to change my appointments to Sundays, as it suited better my needs. Imagine French working on Sundays...The government is really trying to speed up the vaccination rates.

When I thought most of the countries in the world are having the same online appointment booking process, I was suprised to learn that it was not the case. Every country is trying to buy the doses but the supply is limited. The developped countries are vaccinating their people at full speed whereas some other countries are struggling to have sufficient supplies for the whole nations. This results in unfair distribution of vaccinations.

My family lives in Malaysia so I get to have some updates regarding Covid vaccinations. They need to register in a website and wait for hospital staff to contact them. The priorities were given to the elderies so my mother was the first to get the doses. Surprisingly, my aunt who got medical history was contacted several months after my mom to a vaccination center very far from her house. Surge in Covid cases put the country in and out of confinements and I feel that people started to get panic. People started to use their own influences and contacts to get the appointments. The process is opaque so it is hard to know what criterias were used for the appointment distributions. Beside waiting for a call from the hospitals, people got the appointments through their doctors, their companies, their professional associations, and even, through paying RM200. I saw my friends posting on FB asking when will be their turn?

In terms of type of vaccines, I remember when I booked the appointment, you have a choice but it seems that one vaccination center would use only one type of vaccine. So when I booked, I chose the center instead of type of vaccine. The chart above shows the effectiveness of each type of vaccine. To my surprise, beside Pfiser and AZ, Malaysia is using Sinovac which has 50% effectiveness and a lot of Malaysians have accepted it. It makes me think, the Malaysians are accepting it because they have no choice or because they believe in the Chinese vaccine? I realised that we are getting very different information regarding Covid related topics. In Europe, the Chinese vaccines may not be accepted by the people, but they got vastly accepted in Asian, Africa and South America. The mainly China has used only their Chinese produced vaccines. Are the medias separating the world or the world is divided by the Chinese supporters vs Western supporters?