Strict quarantine measures started on March 15, 2020, with varying iterations per area. The health of thousands suffered alongside livelihoods spiraling downwards. The hope is to contain the infections while reviving the economy.
More than a year later, as of writing, the major cities are currently at MECQ with surging cases of roughly 8,000 – 10,000 on average per day. It’s definitely alarming for the Philippine population. Not to mention, we have a stronger Philippine variant that infects faster.
When will the pandemic end?
What should we do? It seems our only option right now is to vaccinate. Is it even safe to get vaccinated?
What’s a Vaccine?
Basically, a vaccine stimulates our immune system to produce antibodies against certain diseases. It makes our body immune without the need to get the disease first. It’s for prevention. As for COVID, it might be through an mRNA or a traditional vaccine, where the mRNA variant doesn’t use a “tamed” version of the virus.
Rest assured, these are backed up by rigorous clinical trials before launching to the public.
In the Philippines, we currently have Sinovac and the Oxford-AstraZeneca. But a lot have qualms in taking it because of the efficacy rates. Compared to the Pfizer and Moderna variants at above 90%, our procured vaccines are way below that.
Does Efficacy Matter?
The question is does it even matter? Why should you take the lower efficacy rates when there are other available variants?
With this, you should consider when the trials were made. The trials for Pfizer and Moderna were done before there were mutated variants and the cases were relatively controlled. Relatively, lower chances of hospitalization and deaths are happening during this period.
While Sinovac and AstraZeneca were tested when the cases were surging up again with multiple mutations spreading.
Also, we have to know the purpose of a vaccine in the fight against COVID today. It’s not entirely to be COVID-free.
The best-case scenario is that you will be completely immune from the disease. But right now, the focus is to weaken the virus to a point where it just feels like a common cold.
COVID is deadly when you get severe symptoms that need hospitalization. But recoveries from mild or asymptomatic cases pretty much equate to a normal sickness.
According to the studies, there were 0% hospitalization and severe cases for those who have taken any of the vaccines. It served its purpose.
Knowing that, the best vaccine is the one that is offered and available to you because 0% escalated to severe cases.
Who Can Get Their Shots
Now that you are ready to take your vaccines. Where can you get one? Currently, only the government has access to this precious resource.
With the limited supply, the Philippine Government announced guidelines to those who get priority.
Check where you classify and register accordingly.
Where to Get Vaccinated
Major cities launched websites to streamline their free vaccination programs. Here are the following that might be available for you.
- Las Piñas
- Quezon City
- San Juan
*For Makati, non-residents are also eligible as long as they work in the city.
**Pasig and Taguig channel their registration on their tracking app.
If you are not from the areas listed above, better ask your barangay officials for their vaccination programs.
Private Institutions Procuring their Own Vaccines
Some institutions and businesses are procuring their own vaccines as well. For example, if you’re a DLSU alumnus, you might get a slot for a Moderna vaccine.
Although, the earliest expected roll-out is between the 3rd to 4th quarter of the year for most establishments.
With the case today, getting vaccinated is more crucial than ever. It’s the best protection we have for COVID today.
For now, let’s stay vigilant and do proper protocols to avoid getting sick. Stay safe.