TWO WEEKS ago, I had my second COVID-19 vaccine in my hometown (City of San Fernando, Pampanga).
It was purely Sinopharm — yes, that vaccine brand that President Duterte, the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and Mon Tulfo have taken before others.
I was supposed to get Moderna but you know, the national government preferred non-cancelable deals with Chinese-made vaccines since the outgoing President continues to adulate on to China right from the very beginning of his administration.
At the start of this year, my sister asked me to sign a waiver about the specific brand and sent it back for confirmation. She works on a government-owned bank — a frontline worker — but her work is situated in Malolos, Bulacan. Thus, she has to commute (now drive) between two provinces with two different community quarantine statuses.
Throughout that waiting period, a few of her fellow employees have been tested positive for COVID but luckily, she’s tested negative after being tagged as a close contact. Knowing that she couldn’t take it long before she will be infected with COVID, she had no choice but to take the vaccine that’s available — Sinovac.
My parents, who are senior citizens, are inoculated with AstraZeneca last May and completed the second dose in July.
The pressure was on me after her first dose in mid-August; I was hesitant, but I had no choice because almost everyone in my nuclear family (except my special brother who shouldn’t go outside) has had at least one jab and is very close in socialization. My sister and I share one comorbidity: we both had asthma as children, so we are classified as A3 priority.
On September 2, I got my first shot at Heroes’ Hall of that particular, available brand of vaccine on my dominant arm (i.e. the left). I felt no fever as I took paracetamol right away and no other side effects happened except the pain in the injection area.
I returned to that facility as scheduled on September 29 for my second dose (this time on the right arm). Immediately after the completing shot, my blood pressure shot high: 150/60 but my dad or mom (who is a nurse) said that it would go back to its normal range in a short while.
As I went home from the vaccination center, my glasses slipped out as I bow deeply and the black plastic frame broke; my glasses were loose and I went to the optometrist downtown to replace them with a silver metal frame.
After two weeks of the second shot, most medical authorities would be classified as “fully protected” and I’m one of them but because of the brand, I’ll likely wait for another six months for a booster shot to avoid dominant variants like Delta.
Nevertheless, I was glad that I was one of at least 21 million Filipinos (at that time) who are fully protected against any severity from the original strain of COVID-19.
Please, dear Turfers, #GetVaccinated.
OK, enough with the personal side of history and public service announcements (PSAs), please jump in for the upcoming announcements.