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  • Can The Flu And Pneumonia Vaccines Really Protect You Against 2019-nCoV?

    The World Health Organization reiterates there is no vaccine against 2019-nCoV yet.
    by Kate Borbon . Published Feb 6, 2020
Can The Flu And Pneumonia Vaccines Really Protect You Against 2019-nCoV?
  • Two Filipino doctors say vaccines against the flu and pneumonia MIGHT help lessen your risk of getting infected with 2019-nCoV. However, it must be said there is NO vaccine that protects against 2019-nCoV yet, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

    According to an ABS-CBN News report last February 5, 2020, Dr. Edsel Maurice Salvana, the director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the National Institute of Health (NIH), noted that many of the 2019-nCoV fatalities were individuals who had preexisting conditions. If you were vaccinated, he reasoned, it could be an added protection. 

    “Magpabakuna kayo because it might save your life. Kahit wala pa tayong nCoV na vaccine, meron naman tayong vaccine sa trangkaso at sa iba’t ibang bagay, sa pneumonia.

    “Kasi nga ‘yong mga namatay sa nCoV…karamihan do’n, 70 percent, meron silang preexisting illness, or matandang-matanda or batang-bata…Mas mabubuhay ka kung healthy ka.”

    One example is the 44-year-old man from Wuhan, China, who died in the Philippines on February 1, marking the first 2019-nCoV-related death outside of China. He had developed severe pneumonia due to viral and bacterial infections.

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    Meanwhile, Dr. Beaver Tamesis, the president of the Philippine Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Association of the Philippines, encouraged elderly people to get vaccinated since they are more vulnerable to infection.

    “Anybody above 50 to 55 years old, basta meron underlying disease — mahina ang baga, chronic asthma, may diabetes na uncontrolled, cardiovascular conditions — [it would be] best magpabakuna na kayo against pneumonia because that would really help protect or reduce your chances of infection,” he said based on the ABS-CBN report.

    Again, the WHO reiterates there is no vaccine against 2019-nCoV and that neither the flu vaccine nor the pneumonia vaccine serve as protection against it.

    “The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts.”

    WHO, however, does encourag vaccination against respiratory illnesses to protect your health.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there are two vaccines that can prevent pneumococcal disease: the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13), which protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria, and the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23), which protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria.

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    According to the immunization schedule prepared by the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP) together with the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV), PCV13 is recommended to be given to kids in a series of four doses: at six to eight weeks old, four months old, six months old, and 12 to 15 months old.

    The CDC says PCV13 is also recommended for adults ages 65 years and older and adults ages 19 years old and older with certain health conditions, while PPSV23 is recommended for adults ages 65 years and older and adults between 19 and 64 years old who smoke or have certain health conditions.

    Meanwhile, the flu vaccine is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older, to be administered annually since the influenza virus changes constantly, says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

    The CDC says there are different flu vaccines approved for use in different age groups. The flu vaccine is also recommended for pregnant women and individuals with chronic health conditions. It is best to consult your doctor on how to get the flu vaccine.

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