Friday, September 24, 2021

Ng: What is it like to receive the vaccine here in the Philippines?

Wander Woman

VACCINATIONS are underway in local governments in Metro Manila and I will be featuring some people who have been vaccinated to people who want to get the vaccine on how to get inoculated here in Metro Manila.

Vanessa Pastor-Ledesma is one of the few people I know who have gotten the first shot of the Sinovac vaccine in the Philippines. She is the honorary consul of Montenegro to the Philippines, founding president of Mercato Centrale Philippines -- the pioneer in outdoor markets and food entrepreneurs incubator, co-founder of EnterPH, law graduate, mother of 3, wife to RJ Ledesma.

I asked Vanessa what was registration like for her. She answered that it was relatively easy, especially if you have comorbidities. She just registered online, and they texted her about her appointment around four to five days later. She was able to get her Sinovac vaccine in Makati Coliseum, which was under the Makati city hall's vaccination program. She received a text confirmation, coupled with a notice that should she be feeling any side effects, to report the same to a number they gave.

She researched online what comorbidities meant (one that has two or more medical conditions or underlying illnesses), and since she has both asthma and allergies to many medications, she falls within this category. Vanessa is highly allergic that she is even allergic to many medications including anti-histamines which are the cure for allergies. She has had three life-threatening anaphylaxis episodes leading to hospitalizations in the past.

The reason why comorbidity patients are prioritized under A3 is that should they catch the Covid virus, these people are the ones most likely to be hospitalized due to their conditions. Vaccinating those people with comorbidities is an effort to help against the collapse of our medical system.

She was armed with a doctor's prescription and a medical certificate, specifically instructing the nurse how to administer the vaccine to Vanessa, and what to do immediately thereafter.

She received her first dose and then the nurses wrote in her vaccination card the date for her second which is exactly four weeks after your first dose. She was hesitant at first to take any vaccine due to the possible allergic reaction but since she talked to her doctor friends, she realized that the pros truly outweigh the cons. She was surprised that the doctors and nurses at the Makati Coliseum vaccination center followed all of her doctor's instructions as written on her prescriptions down to a T.

She describes her Covid vaccination as a very pleasant one. She says, "It was professional, orderly and everyone was courteous and so helpful." Extra consideration was given to special comorbidity patients, with at least three doctors discussing the best recourse. Everyone at the vaccination center at the Makati Coliseum was professional, prompt.

As most of our friends in the medical field would say, the best vaccine you can get is the one that you can get right now whatever brand that is.

Vanessa experienced very mild symptoms which she felt were in alignment with her comorbidities. She did feel a small lump on my throat around four hours after her jab, which lasted the whole night until she fell asleep. The next day, she woke up with a clear throat and lungs without needing any medications. However, she also woke up with sharp upper abdominal pains. The pain went away after about five hours, by just applying a hot water bag. On Day 2, she woke up with a clear throat and lung, went on her treadmill and was back on track with her normal routine.

Vanessa further adds, "What impressed me the most were the follow-ups by the nurses of the Makati Emergency Hotline number after I reported a slight lump on my throat on Day 1 of my vaccination. I was surprised that Makati City even sent medications to my house prescribed by my doctor! I was impressed by how the Makati City nurses texted me so many times just to check up on me, until I was ok. I salute Mayor Abby Binay of Makati City for such an orderly system, and for giving us hope that we can have a health and government system that works well."

I believe that if people can get the vaccine, one should get it. Vanessa says: "I believe they will be opening the availability of the vaccine to the A4 categories soon, which I also fall under, being an economic frontliner under food supply (for food security), as well as under the Diplomatic and Consular community. I’ve decided to take the vaccine not only for myself, so I won't get severely sick should I contract Covid-19, but more so for my loved ones and to contribute to the healing of our country. I hope everyone will avail of a Covid vaccine, whatever brand they choose, but as what many doctor friends have suggested, the earliest brand that is made available for you is the best brand of all. Choosing to take the vaccine is not only for you and your loved ones, but for humankind as well."

Follow me on Twitter @Missheiding, Instagram @Missheiding and YouTube @MissHeidiNg.


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