COVID-19 vaccine: benefits “far, far outweighs” risks- medical experts

Published February 11, 2021, 6:54 PM

by Mario Casayuran

A vaccine expert on Thursday said benefits of being vaccinated with coronavirus disease  (COVID-19) vaccine ’’far, far outweighs’’ the risks.

Dr. Lulu Bravo

Dr. Lulu Bravo, executive director of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination, stressed this during a ‘’Bakit Bakuna Roadshow’’ for COVID-19 Vaccine Program for Communities forum at the House of Representatives today.

‘’It (vaccination) is safe even in immunocompromised people,’’ she explained, noting that  there are now several vaccines being used globally.

Bravo emphasized that no vaccine is 100 percent safe and is not 100 percent effective.

She, however, emphasized that some vaccines prevent cancer and prevent the development of antibiotic resistance.

Vaccines also empower women and promote peace, she said.

‘’Listen to our experts,’’ Bravo said, adding that a lot of communicating on the good effects of the COVID-19 vaccines is needed.

Keep safe as the national immunization program is now underway, she stressed.

Bravo also assured that the government is ready to deal with the adverse reactions of COVID-19 vaccination.

 As the country has been coming to grips with the deadly effects of COVID-19 since its arrival in the Philippines from a couple in Wuhan, China in January 2020, Dr. Rontgene Solante, expert, Adult Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, said there is now increasing clinical experience and decreasing hospital volume.

This has also led to lower viral load exposure due to the use of masks and social distancing, he added.

But the COVID-19 pandemic now affects 106 million globally with the majority of cases are recorded in the US and Europe.

Like Bravo, Solante said vaccines do more good than harm. He, likewise, rejects rumors that the vaccines produced by several pharmaceutical companies in the world were manufactured hastily.

These vaccines underwent trials, he added.

Solante noted that vaccines are more efficacious in older patients, from 60 years and above.

Vaccines, according to him, have the ability to protect against severe diseases and mortality.

Solante said that science is not perfect but the impact of vaccines is ‘’beyond description.’’

He also stressed the need for increased attention to vaccines now as they provide a fertile ground for misinformation

‘’it has been politicized,’’ he lamented.

Rep. Janette Garin, a former Department of Health (DOH) secretary, discussed the issue of promoting vaccine education to strengthen community readiness.

Like Solante, Garin stressed the need for the Philippines to be aggressive in its vaccination program.

‘’Listen to the real experts,’’ she said, adding that Filipinos should think on how they can help the government.