Vaccination a huge relief, but not reason to be overconfident, says Ambassador Ver

Published March 3, 2021, 9:02 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Getting vaccinated against the new coronavirus disease can bring some relief to a person but does not warrant becoming “overconfident” during the pandemic.

Philippine Ambassador to Bahrain Alfonso Ver

Philippine Ambassador to Bahrain Alfonso Ver issued the reminder to people relishing their post-vaccination days to continue to observe health precautions.

Ver, who received the coronavirus vaccine last December, said vaccinated people must remain vigilant and follow safety guidelines amid the uncertainty on whether they might still unknowingly spread the virus.

“Huwag tayong maging overconfident na kahit nabakunahan tayo (Let us not become overconfident even though we got vaccinated),” Ver said in the first episode of “The VAXplainer” released by the government as part of its information drive.

“Magpa-swab pa rin tayo, sundin pa rin ang mga protocols na kailangan (Let’s still take swab tests, follow the health protocols required),” he added.

The anti-COVID vaccine may boost a person’s protection from the virus but does not entire eliminate the possibility of passing the virus to others, according to Ver.

“Hindi ito paraan para na sabihin na hindi ka magkakasakit (Taking the vaccine does not mean that you will never get sick),” he said. “Lumakas ka, may proteksyon ka, pero sabi nga nila baka mayroon ka rin dinadala, baka maging carrier ka. Although hindi ka naapektuhan baka maapektuhan mo ang iba (You get strong, you get protection but they say you might still be a carrier. Although you might not be affected, you might infect others),” he said.

In the same video, the ambassador shared that his worry has been replaced by relief after getting inoculated against the coronavirus last year.

The Filipino ambassador took part in the free immunization drive in Bahrain late December.

It was a historic moment since Ver became the first Filipino ambassador to receive such vaccine.

Before receiving the vaccine, Ver had a health scare when he experienced cough, cold, and fever in April 2020. He was later diagnosed as having bronchitis during his hospital checkup.

“Simula noon, nag-ingat na rin ako dahil sa edad ko rin. Mayroon na akong diabetes at hypertension (Since then, I took extra precaution since I am already old. I have diabetes and hypertension),” he said.

So when the government of Bahrain offered free inoculations, Ver decided to participate in the vaccination. He considered taking the COVID-19 shot not only for his protection but also for the protection of Filipinos he serves in Bahrain.

Except for slight sore arm from the injection, Ver did not have any allergic reaction from the vaccination. The diplomat said he continues to monitor his condition and so far has not experienced any severe side effect.

“Pagkatapos noon parang nakahinga ako nang malalim na kahit papaano mayroon na akong proteksyon (After the vaccination, I heaved a sigh of relief since at least I have protection),” he said.

The ambassador encouraged other Filipinos, especially those with existing health conditions, to take the anti-coronavirus jab.

He said people with comorbidities are more vulnerable to getting the virus. Based on “The VAXplainer” video produced by the Presidential Communications Operations Office, around 2,000 Filipinos have taken their doses of COVID-19 in Bahrain.

Another 3,000 have registered for free vaccination in the Middle Eastern country.

The latest PCOO project aims to educate the public about the importance of vaccination to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“I hope this VAXplainer could help our people understand the technicalities, things that people hardly understand about vaccines. We will be relentless in informing the people,” PCOO Assistant Secretary for Global Media and Public Affairs JV Arcena said.