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COVID-19 patients may get jab right after recovery
Last Thursday, the DOH issued some clarifications in its guidelines on the COVID-19 National Deployment and Vaccination Plan. In its Department Memorandum (DM) No. 2021-0175, the DOH also said that individuals who were not able to receive their second dose due to medical reasons must coordinate with their respective vaccination sites for the immediate rescheduling.

COVID-19 patients may get jab right after recovery

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - April 17, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Those who have recovered from COVID-19 may be vaccinated right after recovery or completion of treatment instead of waiting for 90 days after catching the virus, the Department of Health clarified.

In February this year, the health department said that based on the recommendation of experts, COVID-19 patients have to wait for 90 days before they can be inoculated.

Last Thursday, the DOH issued some clarifications in its guidelines on the COVID-19 National Deployment and Vaccination Plan. In its Department Memorandum (DM) No. 2021-0175, the DOH also said that individuals who were not able to receive their second dose due to medical reasons must coordinate with their respective vaccination sites for the immediate rescheduling.

Individuals who are experiencing a blood pressure (BP) of 180/120 or higher with signs and symptoms of organ damage during the screening process, cannot be vaccinated. But vaccine recipients with blood pressure not meeting definitions of hypertensive emergency may be vaccinated.

Medical clearance is not required except for immunocompromised individuals including those with autoimmune disease, HIV, cancer patients currently undergoing immunosuppressive therapy, transplant patients, those undergoing steroid treatment, and patients who are bedridden or with a poor prognosis.

Even after vaccination, DOH said, observation of the minimum public health standards (MPHS) should still continue to curb the transmission of COVID-19.

Everyone is also encouraged to avail of the free vaccines when it’s their turn through their LGUs to get additional protection against COVID-19 and prevent hospitalization due to severe disease.

Meanwhile, the DOH along with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) yesterday called out media institutions that continue to publish disinformation on COVID-19 vaccines.

According to the two agencies, misleading information on COVID-19 vaccines does more harm than good to Filipinos.

“We appeal primarily to our media partners to exercise caution when reporting potentially misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccines are safe and vaccines are effective and we all know this. Let us work together to help Filipinos better understand the benefits of vaccines. In times of crisis, vaccines can spell the difference between life and death,” explained Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire.

Contrary to insinuations that the Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) is only promoting one brand of vaccines, the DOH and the DOST said that the panel is guided by science in evaluating vaccines.

The DOST created the VEP as DOST is part of the vaccine selection and evaluation structure under the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF). The VEP is composed of vaccine experts, technical experts, and scientists who will identify, evaluate, and recommend possible vaccine candidates for the Philippines.

The VEP is objective in evaluating the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines being used in the country. To date, the national government has already been securing more vaccines not only from Sinovac and AstraZeneca, but also Novovax, Sputnik V, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer.

“In times of crisis, clear and effective communication can spell the difference between life and death. We have seen how crucial clear and effective communication is and it is for this very reason that we continue to expand our capacities to communicate always in pursuit of equipping Filipinos with the right knowledge to protect not only themselves but their loved ones as well,” said Vergeire. — Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, FPL (FREEMAN)

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