As COVID-19 wrought havoc, claimed many lives and change the way people normally live, vaccines have been proven effective in curbing the pandemic through the efforts of the various task forces organized under the Department of Health (DOH) and other government line agencies.
Cases gradually decrease especially in Zamboanga Peninsula region achieving 70% fully vaccinated individuals. Now, people are slowly getting back on their feet and marching back to normal life with situations getting better. However, DOH emphasized people should still be cautious not to take the present situation lightly even with the majority being vaccinated, health protocols are still in effect.
In Region 9, a total of 2.2 million individuals are listed as fully vaccinated, but of the reported data only few number of individuals get their booster shots which alarmed the DOH and local government units.
Only 21% out of 1.7 million eligible 18 year old and above population received their booster shot as of June 21 as reported by Dr. Mary Germeyn Punzalan in an interview during PIA Kapihan na Zamboanga.
Rumors are spreading around communities about the negative effect of booster shots including death and allergic reactions which contribute to misinformation and causes people to refuse to get booster shot.
DOH always emphasized that being fully vaccinated is still not enough that is why the booster dose is needed to add more protection against COVID-19.
As time passes, the body needs to get regular vaccines just like flu-vaccines because it improves immunity and allows immune system to produce antibodies that will easily recognize the virus and destroy it before it will cause any harm and gain high possibility not to get infected by the virus.
People seek protection against the pandemic and now is the opportunity. Health specialists are continuously reminding the public that booster shot is safe and there are no major adverse effects recorded in the Region so far. Vaccines are efficient and accessible to all individuals since vaccination sites are now accepting walk-ins.
“One thing we can really do now is to make them understand the need for booster and to intensify our social mobilization activity, and we talk to people,” Dr. Punzalan added. (NBE/EDT/MLE/GEZ/PIA9-Zamboanga City)