89-year-old grandpa determined to get COVID jab amid comorbidities, negatives about vaccine

Published May 5, 2021, 3:03 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY—He is already fragile at 89 that he has to be aided by a cane when walking.

VACCINATED — Vicente Suico, 89, gestures after receiving his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine last May 4 at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex. (Calvin D. Cordova)

His house has been inaccessible by four-wheel vehicles due to an ongoing road construction.

But Vicente Suico defied all these roadblocks—literally and figuratively—just so he could proceed with his scheduled vaccination.

The family of Suico couldn’t help but admire the determination of the former lineman of the Visayan Electric Co. who received his first dose of CoronaVac at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex last May 4.

“He was really determined to take the vaccine. He believes that the vaccine is the best protection against COVID-19,” Suico’s 54-year-old daughter Gina Monica Cabahug said.

Cabahug said that her father, who will turn 90 on Sept. 2, is well-informed about the benefits of being vaccinated.

“His two grandchildren are medical doctors. He regularly reads newspapers and listens to radio so he is really aware of the issues surrounding the vaccine,” said Cabahug.

Suico is already taking maintenance medicines for asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

“He has comorbidities and he heard some negative things about taking the vaccine but it didn’t discourage him from being vaccinated. He consults with his grandchildren doctors for enlightenment,” said Cabahug.

Cabahug tried to convince her father not to proceed with his scheduled vaccination last Wednesday because of an ongoing road construction near their house in Barangay Cabancalan, Mandaue.

“It was difficult to transport him to the vaccination site because the road leading to our house is under construction,” said Cabahug.

Since her father was determined to proceed with his vaccination, Cabahug sought help from the barangay, which then sent its emergency response team on the day of the old man’s vaccination.

From his house, Suico gingerly walked from his house to a waiting shed where emergency responders waited for him.

From the waiting shed, Suico was placed on a stretcher and was carried to an ambulance parked a few meters from the house.

“We really had to look for ways because he was really determined,” said Cabahug, a government worker.

Cabahug said her father didn’t feel any adverse effects even a day after the vaccination.

Cabahug said she is hoping that her father would serve as inspiration especially to those who are hesitant to take the vaccine.

“I hope he can inspire others because we know that the acceptance of the vaccine is low,” said Cabahug.