The Vaccination Certificate Is Not a Diploma

After Phnom Penh and Kandal Province, the anti-COVID-19 vaccination campaign will extend to provinces in the order of priority set by the authorities.

With around 17 percent of the population having received the two required injections, there still is a long way to go to reach optimal coverage in the country while the number of cases identified remains high—several hundreds daily—and the detection of new and more aggressive variants is worrisome.         

Not getting vaccinated is not a matter, in an overwhelming majority of the cases, a personal choice. It is the result of an insufficient supply of vaccines, which has logically led to the implementation of a vaccination priority policy. The non-vaccinated must wait their turn. That’s all.

Social media are filled with photos of people brandishing their certificates of partial or full vaccination as if these were their latest diplomas. One can understand that they are happy about it and want to make it known. Somewhat like those who post photos of their breakfast to share—or throw at others’ heads—their joy of having savored a good meal.  

Those, therefore, are part of the vaccinated people community. In short, in the current context, to the community of “respectable” people. We hear more and more conversations starting with the question: “And you? Did you get it?” No need to specify. One knows what it’s about.  

Someone who did not get it—which was not his fault—feels that his response to the negative may somehow create uneasiness. He may spoil the mood.    

The vaccine is neither a reward nor a sign of some sort of superiority. It is a health tool meant to collectively control a disease outbreak, a tool from which one hopes everyone will be able to take advantage as soon as possible. In the meantime, we must continue to live together and do the best we can to respect the social-distancing guidelines to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

Finally, looking askance at those who have not been vaccinated is definite evidence that the researchers who have developed those vaccines have failed to add a component against stupidity.  

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