Second dose, done! I was able to secure the last installment of my COVID-19 vaccine before August ended. Here’s how it went.
As with most Filipinos, I too got inoculated with Sinovac. Sharing the sentiment with many, I too wished that it was a different brand, especially now that many other brands are available for others just having their first shot, but since my first shot was with Sinovac, I don’t really have the liberty of picking another brand. And my reluctance isn’t because of where the vaccine originated—it’s because of reports of other brands being much higher efficacy against the prevailing Delta variant. Having the majority of your population inoculated with a vaccine with lower efficacy simply means you’ll need much higher immunization rate if you’re aiming for herd immunity—if that’s even possible given how fast COVID-19 evolves. Nonetheless, as I mentioned in my post when had my first jab, having some protection is so much better than none at all. And at the alarming rate of spread of the Delta variant, I can’t help but think it’s just a matter of time before it knocks on your doors. If you think about it, since when did we really became brand-conscious when it comes to vaccines? Do you even know the brands of the vaccines you’ve had?
For my second jab, it was quite a surprise that it took so much longer than my first. It took me a total of three (3) hours to complete the entire process! I actually arrived much earlier this time, but I got caught with lunch break. I absolutely don’t have any issues with the people manning the vaccination having their breaks, especially that they didn’t take it at the same time, but it did severely slow down the process. It was aggravated, in my opinion, by the fact that several other brands were available for administration so labor was divided. I spent more than an hour just waiting for my turn to be inoculated—everything else was about the same speed as before. They still provided us with paracetamol tablets in case we experienced body aches as side effect. Fortunately, I haven’t really experienced anything abnormal as of the moment from the vaccine to need any medication.
I still have to wait for about two weeks for myself to be considered fully vaccinated. Apparently, that’s the time it takes for our bodies to create antibodies that will protect us from the virus. And as we’ve all heard from news, it’s still not an absolute guarantee that we won’t get COVID-19, but we stand a much better chance of not getting hospitalized compared to having no vaccines at all. For me, that is good enough of a reason to get vaccinated—even if it’s Sinovac.
I’m sharing my experience for those who are still reluctant to get vaccinated against COVID-19. For us to achieve herd immunity and some semblance of normalcy, a lot of us should have “immunity” (even if it’s not absolute) to protect those that can’t for whatever reason. Unfortunately, if you’re in the Philippines, you may not have the luxury to pick your preferred brand and chances are you’d get Sinovac as that’s the bulk of the government’s procurement. Nonetheless, do you think getting COVID-19 is better than getting a vaccine?
For those who desperately want to be vaccinated but can’t, I understand your frustration as I was in the same situation just a month ago. I was fortunate that my employer signed us up for Makati City’s program (aside from procuring vaccines as well) where I got my dose. I could’ve waited for my employer’s vaccine orders to arrive, but while waiting I’d be a sitting duck against COVID-19! And so when the local government gave me a slot, I took the opportunity. I suggest trying to find someone living in an area where vaccination is available to “adopt” you if it’s not yet available in your area. Some cities in Metro Manila already have the majority of their target vaccinated so there may be a chance that you can be entertained in these cities.
I sincerely hope that everyone who wants to get vaccinated get their shot as soon as possible before more new variants come. I would really, really like us to get the majority of the population (or at least everyone who is willing and able to be) vaccinated so that we can get back our economy and pockets back on track.