A total of 167 employees have been vaccinated with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine from May 20 to June 17, 2021, at the Department of Health – Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) SOCCSKSARGEN Regional Office. This is part of the DOH’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program to save lives and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the total number, 157 employees have been inoculated with Sinovac CoronoVac and 10 employees with Oxford AstraZeneca. Four (4) employees who are senior citizens aged 60 and above were under Priority A2, and 163 employees were under Priority A3 or persons with comorbidities.

DOH-CHD SOCCSKSARGEN Regional Director Dr. Aristides Concepcion Tan reminded all employees to present themselves for assessment especially those with high blood pressure to take their maintenance before getting vaccinated.

“Those who are still contemplating or not yet vaccinated, please present yourself for assessment and the needed profile so that you’ll get vaccinated, take this opportunity for this will just come now or you might lose the opportunity,” he emphasized.

The Director further explained that vaccination is one of the methods that will give one the confidence that a person will be more or less safe from the virus or the complication of the COVID-19 virus.

“As a precaution, as you go out of this compound, make sure you observe the standard health protocols because on your way home, you might still get the virus,” he added.

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COVID-19 vaccines are held to the highest safety standard and are proven to be safe and effective. Vaccine safety is continuously monitored and any signs of potential problems are promptly investigated and corrected. Getting vaccinated is less risky than getting the disease itself. The second dose of the vaccine will be administered 28 days after the first dosage for Sinovac and four to twelve weeks for AstraZeneca.

National Immunization Program Manager and Family Health Cluster Head Dr. Edvir Jane S. Montañer also encouraged those who are not yet vaccinated to submit themselves for assessment. “Yung may mga agam-agam pa po dyan, kami po ay bakunado na, and as you can see, wala naman pong nangyari sa amin, kasi po lagi pong sinasabi sa amin bakit po ang CHD personnel ay hindi pa bakunado, because nag aantay lang po tayo ng ating schedule,” Dr. Montañer explained.

“Let’s do our share to end this pandemic and let us all be vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine. Whatever is the vaccine on hand and whatever is the vaccine in your arm, is the best way to prevent this pandemic,” she concluded.

With the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, people have the opportunity to get ahead of the virus. These vaccines can prevent symptomatic and severe infection and prevent transmission. However, like many vaccines being used in the past, the protective effect in the community is maximized only when there is herd immunity or at least 70% of the population gets vaccinated. This is not just about getting oneself and one’s family vaccinated, but also getting one’s barangay, city, and province up for it.

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