An official from the Department of Health (DOH) reminded those who have gotten their first dose of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine to not skip their second shot.
In an interview with DZBB on Wednesday, May 6, Dr. Myrna Cabotaje, Undersecretary of DOH, said among the factors contributing to making people skip their second shot are vaccine hesitancy because of side effects.
Three of the vaccines in use in the Philippines — AstraZeneca, Sinovac, and Sputnik V — require that people get a second those to get the maximum protection the vaccines can provide.
“May konting proteksyon [ang first dose], pero nabu-boost yan sa second dose (The first dose offers little protection, but it is boosted during the second dose),” Cabotaje said.
Cabotaje said fear of the side effects of the second dose and trouble getting an appointment due to the current COVID-19 surge are among the reasons people have given for missing second doses.
“Maraming dahilan, unang-una nagkaroon sila ng side effects, kailangangang ikumbinsi na temporary lang ang side effects. Pangalawa, dahil nga sa nag-surge, naka-quarantine o naka-isolate, (There are many reasons, first maybe they had side effects, it is important to convince them that side effects are only temporary. Second, because of the surge, they are currently quarantined or isolated),” she added.
The DOH announced in April that COVID-19 patients who already recovered from the disease need not to wait 90 days after they tested positive for the disease to get the shot.
Patients may get vaccinated against the virus two weeks after recovering from the disease.
“Dalawang linggo pag naka-recover na pwede, wag lang mas maaga sa schedule ng interval. Pwede later, wag lang mas maaga (They can get vaccinated two weeks after they recovered, but they can’t get vaccinated earlier than scheduled. It can be done later, but not earlier),” Cabotaje noted.
The Philippines has so far received 4.4 million vaccine doses, 3.5 million doses of which were from China’s Sinovac Biotech, 525,600 doses from AstraZeneca through the COVAX Facility, and 15,000 doses of Sputnik V from the Gamaleya Institute in Russia.