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  • Doctors: ‘Wala Pang Tao Namatay Dahil Sa Dengvaxia’, Urges Pinoys To Get COVID-19 Vaccine

    Getting vaccinated for other diseases can help lower the effects of COVID-19 symptoms.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Doctors: ‘Wala Pang Tao Namatay Dahil Sa Dengvaxia’, Urges Pinoys To Get COVID-19 Vaccine
PHOTO BY Jerome Ascano
  • As of April 13, 2021, the Department of Health (DOH) has already inoculated more than 1.25 million Filipinos with the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes healthcare workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities.

    While the government is pushing to vaccinate all Filipinos, a number are still hesitant to get the shot. This is largely due to the Dengvaxia controversy that happened in 2017.

    Former DOH Secretary and Doctors for Truth and Public Welfare (DTPW) co-convenor Dr. Esperanza Cabral noted that vaccine confidence in the country dropped from about 93% down to 32% after the issues surfaced.

    “Malaki ang responsibilidad ng mga tao na kumakalat ng mga false news tungkol sa Dengvaxia. Kasi ngayon, ang hinaharap natin sa COVID vaccine ay malaking vaccine hesitancy,” the doctor said at the recently held Kapihan sa Manila Bay media briefing. 

    “Wala pa hong tao [na] namatay diretso dahil sa Dengvaxia,” stressed Dr. Minguita Padilla of the DTPW.

    Dengvaxia, the first licensed vaccine for dengue, continues to be used in at least 20 other countries. According to Dr. Padilla, the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suspended the vaccine’s certificate of product registration due to administrative reasons and not because of safety issues as the chances of getting severe dengue from the vaccine are low.

    It’s not just the COVID-19 vaccine that can help decrease the effects of the virus. Dr. Padilla says getting vaccinated for other diseases can also help.

    As patients can get infected by multiple diseases, some come to hospitals feeling the symptoms of both COVID-19 and dengue. Having yourself protected from vaccine-preventable diseases such as dengue or HIV will thus help in a COVID patient’s ability to recover.

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    For those who are still hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the doctors remind that it can protect against severe cases of the disease. This will also help the hospitals currently overwhelmed with active cases.

    Side effects are short-term and expected as with any vaccination. For Dr. Padilla and Dr. Cabral, who were inoculated with Sinovac and AstraZeneca respectively, the side effects included sleepiness, slight fever, or headache and soreness in the arm.

    They reiterate that there is nothing to be worried about. “I don’t know anybody who has gotten a serious side effect from either Sinovac or AstraZeneca,” Dr. Cabral said.

    “Ang buhay natin ay talagang hindi babalik sa dating buhay natin pag hindi tayo lahat nagbabakuna. A vaccination program is our way out of this pandemic. When your turn to get a vaccine comes, please get whatever vaccine is available to you,” Dr. Cabral added.

    Get answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine here and find out why parents are choosing to get vaccinated here.

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