DOST chief gets AstraZeneca jab

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña announced Monday, April 12, that he has already received coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine. 

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña
(TOTO LOZANO / Presidential Photo / FILE PHOTO)

“Ibabalita ko na ako ay nabakunahan na at napakaganda naman ang aking experience (I’d like to announce that I have been vaccinated and my experience has been very good),” he said during the televised Laging Handa public briefing. 

When asked about the brand of the vaccine, the 71-year-old DOST chief  quipped: “AstraZeneca”. 

De la Peña shared that before the vaccination, he got nervous and as a result, his blood pressure slightly went up.

“'Yung nakakausap ko ayaw magpabakuna 'yung iba ninerbyos , kahit ako ninerbyos ako nung babakunahan ako, medyo tumaas ang blood pressure ko pero after naman nagbalik na sa normal (The people I talked to did not want to get vaccinated, the others were nervous, even me, I got nervous before receiving the vaccine, my blood pressure slightly went up, but after, it returned to normal) ” he said.  

In a Viber message to the Manila Bulletin, de la Peña said he got his COVID-19 vaccine at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) on April 8. 

On April 8, the Department of Health (DOH) adopted the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to temporarily suspend the use of AstraZeneca vaccines for individuals aged below 60 years old, following recent reports of rare cases of blood clots with low platelets detected in some individuals inoculated with the vaccine.

De la Peña said it was important for the government to intensify its campaign on COVID-19 vaccination, even as he advised the public to get information from reliable sources, such  heath authorities. 

“Pero nakikita ko ang mga tao ay interesado na mabakunahan (But, I observe that people are interested in vaccination),” he said. 

In early March, de la Peña said he was not after a particular brand of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and he was willing to be vaccinated anytime.