This is a short life update post.
Getting Vaccinated for COVID-19
I just got my second dose yesterday of the AstraZeneca vaccine, after waiting for the optimal interval since my first dose in March. I wasn’t concerned, or afraid, even with reports of side effects —COVID-19 is still the stronger and more depressing killer. And in the Philippines, we really need to do all that we can to help stop it (as we can’t really rely on the government for anything!).
As a medical intern, I count towards the first priority group being vaccinated in the Philippines. We are currently still vaccinating priority ‘A’ groups –frontline health workers, indigent populations, senior citizens, and uniformed personnel. People with co-morbid diseases can now also get vaccinated.
Vaccines have been proven safe and effective. Since the 1980s, the Philippine government has been providing free immunization to infants and children to prevent important diseases like tetanus, polio, and hepatitis B. Though it was developed a lot quicker, the COVID-19 vaccines follow the same known technologies and the same regard for patient safety and efficacy.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe? In general, yes. While side effects are expected to occur, they are mild in the majority of people. I personally experienced around 24 hours of high fever, myalgia or body pains, and general body weakness when I had my first dose. However, the knowledge that I’m contributing to herd immunity and the end of this pandemic more than made up for it.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine effective? In general, yes. Most types of vaccines in the market can reasonably prevent moderate-to-severe COVID-19 disease. This means it is still possible to get COVID-19, but the presentation is hopefully mild like a simple flu. Before taking the vaccine, I encourage you to personally read up on the differences between each type of vaccine.
Time will tell us what the long-term effects of these vaccines are, and when to expect a ‘booster’ dose. (For example, every adult needs a tetanus booster shot every 10 years because the protection of our childhood dose isn’t 100% forever).
But hopefully time will show us that the Philippines and the rest of the world will be able to achieve herd immunity without anymore spikes in cases or deaths…. though this is more of a fantastical dream. Our government’s given up on “herd immunity”. They’ve moved down to “population protection” in NCR Plus 8 because of limitations in vaccine supply.
Though some of my family’s eligible to get vaccinated already through our local government unit (LGU), we’ve decided to wait for the private sector (that is, for my sister’s company to provide the vaccines). This is largely because we’ve noted reports, including videos, of crowding and inefficiency in the Paranaque vaccination site. My sister even knows someone who got COVID (most likely) while queuing up for the vaccine in the said LGU. I personally don’t want to risk my family.
Now it’s time for me to go to a simulation lab on delivering babies. And to wait for a couple of weeks until all my antibodies are mature and ready to go.
Until next time!