MANILA

Covid vaccine: Tales from the Filipinos who had it

Photo courtesy of Tisha Silang

THE Duterte government plans to inoculate 70 million Filipinos by the end of 2021. Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. outlined the ambitious targets the government had for its vaccine program: secure at least 148 million vaccine doses and inoculate 50 million to 70 million Filipinos within 2021. This month is crucial as the first doses of the vaccine are slated to arrive by end of February. February is also the month that the government signs on supply deals with the vaccine pharmaceutical companies.

The question is, if the supply comes and you are eligible to get it from your local government unit, will you take the vaccine?

Some people are coming from the fear of Dengvaxia and would like to wait and see the side effects of the vaccines, so I want to share with you real experiences from Filipinos who had the vaccine ahead of the Philippine population.

One of those Filipinos who has had the vaccine is Binibinang Pilipinas Universe Tisha Silang. Former TV host and celebrity Tisha now lives in Toronto, Canada. Tisha works in the hospital with patients involved with work in physiotherapy and occupational therapy. She does work that is likened to a rehabilitation therapist. As she is working in Canada, her vaccine was free and provided by the government because she works in health care.

The dose that she got was from the company Pfizer. Tisha experienced a slightly sore arm the day after vaccination, but it was gone within a day. She is scheduled to get the second dose on February 28, which is based on the Pfizer recommendations to receive a second dose 21 days after the first dose.

I further asked if she is experiencing symptoms after the vaccination that people should be aware of. Luckily, she answered, "I’m feeling great, back to normal, no different than prior to getting the vaccine." She further adds, "because the vaccine doesn’t reach its maximum effectivity of 95 percent until about a week after you have had your second dose, we are still asked to follow safety protocols of wearing masks, keeping 6-feet apart, proper handwashing, and of course, [wearing] full PPE (personal protective equipment] when we think we might be working with patients who might be Covid-positive. Also, because they have little to no research on the effect of the vaccine on pregnant women, they review these risks with you prior to consenting to have the vaccine if you think you could be or planning on pregnancy."

I have read in some articles that pregnant women are discouraged to take the vaccine. However, since Covid and the vaccines are so new, there are not enough studies to prove this theory.

It is back to normal for Tisha as she was not asked to avoid any particular food or activities. Let us hope that everything will work out with her second dose as well.

In the meantime, this beauty is working and living and still taking precautions as these precautions like wearing a mask and handwashing are now commonplace. This is the new normal and we just have to get used to it.

***

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