The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has expressed hope that the government can soon obtain the vaccines against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and make them available to the people.

Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles said this in his Christmas message released December 23.

“Once accepted by most, if not by all, these vaccines can reduce the numbers headed for the ICUs and hospitals,” he said.

“People can return to work, earn a living, and go back to school. And the day may not be far off when we will no longer need to wear masks, do social distancing, or be obsessed with disinfectants,” added Valles.

Although grateful to the men and women of science who produced the wonderful vaccines, he said, they also recognize their limits. 

“They are good for COVID-19 only. They cannot be effective against the next virus which, many experts say, will surely appear and unleash the next pandemic,” said Valles.

The prelate, however, said that no vaccine can be a panacea for all the misguided ways by which humans live. 

“We bring about our own plagues and pandemics. We abuse nature. We wage wars. We tolerate, if not exacerbate, poverty and inequality,” said Valles.

“We know we can do better, yet we persist in our lack of humanity,” he added.

But the CBCP head said the birth of Christ offers hope to the people.

“He is born for us, for our benefit, and for no other reason. He is here to save us from ourselves, from our pettiness, and from our hardness of hearts,” Valles said.

“If we only let Him, He will teach us how to live life fully, with or without a pandemic. He is our Savior and our God,” he added.

Source: Manila Bulletin (