MANILA – More and more health workers are getting vaccinated with the CoronaVac and AstraZeneca vaccines, with a health expert noting that the availability of the second brand of a vaccine for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has encouraged more vaccinations.
In a Laging Handa briefing on Wednesday, Dr. Anna Ong-Lim, a member of the Department of Health’s (DOH) Technical Advisory Group, said the vaccination drive among health workers have so far received a good response, noting that those apprehensive about CoronaVac’s “low” efficacy for preventing mild symptoms have been encouraged with the arrival of AstraZeneca vaccines.
“Dahil nagkaroon na ng ibang options, mas marami din nagkaroon ng encouragement na magpabakuna (Because of the addition of another option, more have been encouraged to get vaccinated),” Lim said.
However, she emphasized the importance of receiving any of the vaccines if they fit the criteria for inoculation.
“As long as nagpi-fit tayo sa criteria kung saan siya dapat gamitin magpabakuna na tayo kasi dagdag proteksyon talaga ‘to (As long as we fit the criteria on how it must be used then we should get vaccinated because this is increased protection),” Lim said.
Following reports of a decrease in efficacy of vaccines for other variants of the virus that causes the Covid-19, she said less protection is still better than having no protection at all.
“Kahit anong bakuna pa ang matanggap mo, kahit sabihin pa natin na medyo bumaba ang bisa niyan, meron pa rin kesa sa zero kung hindi ka nagpabakuna (Whatever vaccine you receive, even if it’s found that its efficacy lessened, it is still better than no protection at all if you don’t get inoculated),” Lim said.
Getting vaccinated, she said, is expected to decrease the severity of Covid-19 infections, noting that there is no information yet on whether vaccinations decrease transmission of the disease.
“Kahit na nabakunahan na, ang mga healthcare workers pinag-iingat pa rin ang lahat kasi yun ngang paglipat ng sakit, whether mahawaan or manghawa, ay hindi kasama dun sa datos na hawak natin sa ngayon (Even after inoculation, our health workers are still being cautioned because the transmission of the disease is not included in the data that we have right now),” Lim said.
Dr. John Wong, a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases – Technical Working Group on Data Analytics, said that the country is ready for the arrival of more vaccines.
“Yung mga (The) hospitals they've been preparing since late last year; they've been running simulations and we're developing information systems to connect the data. So, I think the hospitals are ready for the additional vaccines,” Wong said.
On Tuesday, Malacañang announced an incoming supply agreement with US drugmaker Novavax for 30 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine.
Last week, 487,200 doses of British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca arrived in the country from the COVAX Facility. (PNA)