2 VMMC personnel have allergic reaction to vaccine
Chiong said reports that three others suffered dizziness after being vaccinated are untrue, noting that the three had high blood pressure and were hypertensive.
AFP/Kena Betancur

2 VMMC personnel have allergic reaction to vaccine

Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - March 2, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Two personnel of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center showed mild allergic reactions after receiving the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, VMMC director Dr. Dominador Chiong confirmed yesterday.

He clarified though that “both vaccine recipients are now fine” and that the reactions, in the form of rashes, were immediately addressed after proper medication.

Chiong said reports that three others suffered dizziness after being vaccinated are untrue, noting that the three had high blood pressure and were hypertensive.

“They were not yet inoculated when they had dizziness,” he explained, adding that the three just probably got nervous.

At the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP), nurse Mary Ann Bausa said she preferred not to wait anymore for the arrival of any other vaccine since Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccines are already available.

“Any vaccine will do. Anyway, we were told that its effectivity rate is also high… although if given to health workers (it is low),” she pointed out.

As for her fellow health workers who are still hesitant to be vaccinated, Bausa said “it’s their own decision what vaccines they want to get.”

The LCP received yesterday an initial 600 doses of Sinovac vaccines, which are good for 300 health care workers who should receive two doses to maximize effectivity.

Based on the emergency use authorization issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Sinovac vaccine, its efficacy rate if given to health workers is 50.4 percent as they are more exposed to COVID-19.

But if used for the general population, its efficacy rate to prevent moderate symptoms stands at 78 percent and at 100 percent to prevent severe complications.

As of yesterday, 150 workers are in the master list of recipients of LCP but hospital executive director Vincent Balanag Jr. is expecting more workers to avail themselves of the vaccines in the coming days.

FDA director general Eric Domingo yesterday described as “painless” the Sinovac jab he received at the Philippine General Hospital, where he is an attending ophthalmologist.

“The nurse at PGH was good. I did not feel it when I was being vaccinated,” he said in an interview, adding that a few hours after receiving the vaccine, he still could not feel anything even on the injection site.

“Of course I have to monitor myself in the next 24 hours… But (so far), I do not feel soreness and systemic symptoms like fever,” Domingo said.

At 52 years and being a health care worker, he noted that he fits the criteria for Sinovac vaccinees.

Meanwhile, members of the Alliance of Health Workers at LCP staged a “lunch break” to denounce what they called government’s “consistent inconsistencies” in the vaccination program against COVID-19.

The group’s president, Robert Mendoza, said they are “dismayed at the sudden turnaround decision of the government to inoculate health care workers (HCWs) with Sinovac”?as this is “sacrificing the health and safety of the health workers.”

He added that the government is “practically forcing HCWs to accept Sinovac vaccines, called CoronaVac.”

Eleazar Sobinsky, LCP Employees Association president, said HCWs deserve the best vaccine against the novel virus as their “health and lives are always at stake.”

Sobinsky stressed that it would not be enough for the government to simply indemnify health care workers “who will suffer severe side effects or death due to the COVID-19 vaccines.”

“We want the government and health authorities to be held accountable in indemnifying victims of severe effects of the vaccine,” he added.

Fr. Marlito Ocon, one of the chaplains at PGH, said he preferred to wait for other anti-COVID vaccines to arrive and have options as he expressed his belief that both patients and frontliners should wait for what they deem as the “best vaccine” against the coronavirus.

“I’d rather wait for the best one if there are other (brands) that are coming… It is not as if that (Sinovac) is the only vaccine that would arrive in the country or that is the only vaccine available so we have to take the risk for the sake also of the people we serve, our patients and to all frontliners who are here at the hospital,” Ocon told the Catholic church-run Radio Veritas.

He revealed that during a meeting with the Department of Health (DOH) at PGH last Sunday, a survey conducted by the hospital that showed 95 percent were against being vaccinated with Sinovac was mentioned.

One common reason for this is that they would no longer be able to avail themselves of other vaccines brands if they get inoculated with CoronaVac. – Sheila Crisostomo, Evelyn Macairan

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