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COVID-19 vaccine: benefits still outweigh risks

Are you having second thoughts about receiving a vaccine against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

For Surjit Traqueña, she has decided to get the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available.

“Mabakauna gid ako para sa akon nga kaeuwasan ag syempre man para man sa akon nga pamilya (I will submit myself to vaccination for my safety and for the safety of my family),” Traqueña said, adding that in so far this is the best solution to end the coronavirus pandemic.

Traqueña, who is a 32-year old sales associate of a retail store located in one of the malls in Kalibo, is a resident of Andagao, Kalibo, Aklan. Living with her in a house are her husband, senior citizen grandmother, aunt, uncle, and a cousin who is a minor.

She is hopeful that with the vaccines against COVID-19 now in the country, her wish to go back to the normal situation will soon be realized. It may not be that drastic but gradually.

Traqueña has arrived with this decision to be vaccinated against COVID-19 after listening to a dialogue conducted by the local government unit (LGU) of Kalibo in Andagao on March 17, 2021 that tackled about the vaccine, the importance of receiving it to our body, and what it can do to the community. 

Currently, LGU-Kalibo is holding a series of COVID-19 Vaccination Barangay Dialogues with the theme: COVID-19 Tapna-on, Bakuna ro Solusyon, Resbakuna Kasangga ng Bida Campaign to its barangays, reaching every resident to be informed on the importance of getting the vaccine in the body.

As of March 30, 2021, LGU-Kalibo has already conducted 14 barangay dialogues, out of the 16 barangays of Kalibo. The Kalibo government targetted to orient all of its barangays within the month of March, and while waiting for  the coming of the purchased vaccines which are expected to arrive any time soon.

The town of Kalibo is the only town in Aklan that was able to allocate and procure COVID19 vaccines for its constituents that is funded by the municipal government.

On one hand, the province of Aklan is also doing its share in informing the public on the benefits of being vaccinated against COVID-19. 

According to Dr. Leslie Ann Luces, Provincial Health Officer I of the Provincial Health Office-Aklan, the possible side effects of the vaccine include fever; numbness, redness, itchiness or swelling at the injection site; feeling of weakness or fatigue; headache; dizziness and the likes.

With such possible side effects, government hopes that with the pro-vaccine campaign, the benefits of the vaccine would outweigh the feared complications.

The Department of Health has assured that the donated and procured vaccines are all approved by Food and Drugs Administration and safety is of top priority.

Dr. Luces, one the recipients and among the first to be inoculated of the first dose of the Sinovac Vaccine in Aklan last March 10, 2021, stressed that vaccines are important. 

Being a medical frontliner, with the vaccine in her body, it gives her confidence to perform her duties well and give her the assurance for her safety and that of her loved ones.

She said that the vaccines are not a guarantee that you could not acquire COVID-19 anymore. But, what can be assured is that you would not experience severe symptoms and you do not need to be hospitalized.

The LGUs in Aklan are at their best and at their full capacity in informing Aklanons regarding the significance of the COVID-19 vaccines.

If every person in Aklan is like Surjit, who is now adequately informed on the importance of the vaccine and has decided to be inoculated by it, there will be no Aklanon who will be put in the intensive care unit due to COVID-19, gasping to breath. (LTP/SQP-/PIA-Aklan)

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Sheila Patoza

Writer

Region 6

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