AC medical execs urges locals to get vaccinated

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ANGELES CITY – Local medical officials here are urging all Angeleños to do their part in eradicating COVID-19 by getting vaccinated, echoing the call of Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin, Jr. of an immunized city against COVID-19.

This was reiterated on March 17, 2021 by Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center (RLMMC) Officer-in-Charge Dr. Froilan Canlas and City Health Officer Dr. Verona Guevarra, both Local Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) heads, during their live interview via Lingkod Bayan ni Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin, Jr.

Lazatin wants to ensure that all 411,634 residents of the city will be vaccinated.

“Prayoridad natin ang seguraduhin ang kalusugan at kaligtasan ng bawat Angeleno laban sa COVID-19, at magagawa lamang natin ito kung mapapabakunahan natin lahat ng residente dito,” Lazatin said.

As part of the city government’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccination information drive, the doctors discussed frequently asked questions about the vaccines, after the city saw a surge in COVID-19 cases this March, with daily cases reaching double digits, and after the first recorded case of the SOUTH AFRICAN variant, which according to experts may be more infectious than the original version of the virus.

“This is the start of the end of the pandemic. Huwag kayong makisama sa problema, maging part kayo ng solution. The only way to do that is magpabakuna kayo,” Dr. Canlas stressed.

The two medical experts also shared their own experience after having been vaccinated with Sinovac and Astrazeneca.

“First day, Sunday wala ako naramdaman. The evening or madaling araw, nagka-fever pero tolerable. Nagparacetamol and hydration lang ako. The following day, medyo mabigat katawan, parang may flu like symptoms. Naalis po nung nag paracetamol. Kapag naramdaman yun, it’s just your body reacting to the vaccine,” Dr. Guevarra said after being vaccinated with Astrazeneca.

“Ako wala ako naramdaman. Pagka-inject sa akin nagtrabaho na ako,” Dr. Canlas says of his Sinovac experience.

“Sa sampung nagpabakuna, isa lang may naramdaman. Yung nine, wala nararamdaman,” he adds.

Dr. Verona explains the occurrence of these side effects saying, “Like any vaccine, kapag nag-flu or pneumonia vaccine, meron yan side-effects tulad nang nilalagnat, nagkaka-pain on the injection sites, fever with chills or fever lang, or pwede nag-tae ka. They are what you expect or experience for any vaccine.”

“On the other hand, it doesn’t mean wala ka naramdman, hindi effective. Hindi po ganun. Depende po sa tao,” she adds.

Dr. Guevarra and Dr. Canlas also tried to appease the public’s misgivings about the vaccines, and warned them about the dangers of “fake news,” especially on social media.

“Huwag po kayong matakot sa bakuna. Bakuna ang sole exclusive solution sa isang pandemya. Bakuna ang solusyon. Huwag ikatakot ang solusyon. Mga naririnig about possible side effects, these are reports but they’re still trying to substantiate it. Huwag po kayo maniwala sa haka-haka. Huwag po agad maniniwala sa mga nababasa sa social media,” Dr. Canlas furthered.

Dr. Guevarra also addressed people’s varying opinions on the many vaccines available in the market.

 “Ang mahalaga po, kahit anong bakuna, basta andiyan. Magpabakuna na. Kahit ang average ng efficacy ay 50-90% ng mga bakuna natin. May 50% chance ka na malalabanan mo ang disease kapag meron ka. At nakapag severe disease ka hindi ka mamamatay. Kaysa walang chance at all,” she says.

“One of the dangers kung mag dilly-dally ka sa pagbakuna, baka umabot sa point magkakaroon ng variant na deadly. Useless na bakuna natin nun. Before umabot tayo dun. Magpakabuna na tayo,” Dr. Canlas adds.

Last March 13, the city government received the first batch of Astrazeneca vaccines from the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility.

“Ang dumarating ngayon these are coming from the COVAX facility. World Health Organization sponsored, ang ginawa nya, kumuha siya ng mandated donation from different manufacturers to redistribute them to third world countries para hindi sila maiwan. For the purpose of equity,” Dr. Canlas explains.

While waiting for the vaccines to arrive, Dr. Guevarra reminded the residents to strictly observe the government’s safety and health protocols against COVID-19.

“Tulungan po natin ang government sa pag-control ng transmission ng COVID sa pamamagitan ng pagsuot ng face mask, face shield, pag-social distancing, at paglabas sa bahay kung kailangan lang. Sa maliit na paraan lang pong ito, malaking malaking impact po ang magagawa natin. Makakabawas sa dami ng mahahawaan. In your own small way, makakatulong sa pagbaba ng kaso,” she says.