Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Valderrama: Getting vaccinated

Maria Gemima Valderrama (File photo)

SHE Writes

I GOT my first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine two weeks ago. No major side effects except for that bearable pain and reddish skin in my left arm. Some of my office mates had chills and fever for one to two days; others did not feel any side effects at all.

My mother, who is almost 80 and had suffered a stroke twice, got the vaccine too at a walk-in center. No side effects; only the expected pain during the injection. And now, she feels more confident even if she has been staying at home for more than one year.

With the vaccine, I am assured that I get the best protection although I also always observe the health protocols. I have this peace of mind because I am vaccinated.

If medical doctors and nurses, who know better about vaccines, get themselves vaccinated, I wonder what hinders other people to get vaccinated too. Yes, there are isolated cases of severe effects we see mostly in social media, but these are very rare. And sometimes, some stories are either unreal or exaggerated.

I remember an infographic shared in Facebook about a couple riding a donkey. If the couple rides in the donkey, people say they don’t pity the animal. If the husband rides alone, people say he is cruel for allowing his wife to walk. If he allows his wife to ride, people will say it is cruel of him to allow her alone. If they walk together with the donkey, people will say they are fools for not knowing how to use the donkey. In short, people will always have something to say.

This is true with the vaccine too. People will always have something to say, something to doubt for. But the Department of Education (DepEd) is one with the call for vaccination for the protection of the whole population.

DepEd has launched the Vacc2School: Ligtas na Bakuna Para sa Balik-Eskwela last month to encourage teaching and non-teaching personnel to get vaccinated and to inform, educate, and engage education stakeholders in supporting and promoting the national vaccination drive under the Department of Health.

DepEd’s campaign is already in TikTok now to get more attention and viewers. It already has TikTok users and the most notable is Dr. Lorenzo Mendoza, the schools division superintendent of Davao Occidental. He created short videos just to entertain, but they have become effective.

DepEd Regional Director Allan G. Farnazo and Assistant Regional Director Maria Ines C. Asuncion have been very firm in this campaign. In virtual meeting or seminars, they have always reminded all the participants to observe health protocols and to get vaccinated.

The inclusion of teachers to the A4 priority list is good news. They will get vaccinated anytime now. Majority, if not all, have been waiting for this. Because of the campaign, DepEd’s own personnel have become fully aware of the benefits of the vaccine.

DepEd Secretary Leonor M. Briones encourages teachers to get the vaccine because it is not only a matter of protecting their personal rights, but also a matter of protecting the lives and health of children entrusted to their care.

The Public Affairs Service of DepEd under the leadership of Director June Arvin C. Gudoy is determined to create effective content for people to understand more. Afterall, only when we are educated can we make informed decisions.

The vaccine gives us hope to return to normalcy. The virus is already here. It will be part of our lives. Only through the vaccine that we no longer worry about ourselves and our family. Only with the vaccine can we go back to face-to-face classes and to our normal lives.


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