Follow us for updates
© 2020
Read the Story →

Nervous, Hopeful: First Vaccine Shot Captures Filipinos' Mood

Through the eyes of doctor, nurse.
by Ara Eugenio
Just now

Nurse Chareluck Santos admitted to being nervous when she gave the Philippines' first official COVID-19 vaccine to her boss, Philippine General Hospital Director Dr. Gerardo Legaspi. In the historic moment, the two captured the country's cautious optimism over the much needed vaccine rollout.

The vaccination played out before live cameras, and was shown on free TV, Facebook and YouTube. On Twitter, there was caution over the use of China's Sinovac vaccine, which has a lower efficacy rate compared to rival jabs.

"Iba-iba po yung naramdaman ko sa pagbabakuna. Unang-una masaya po dahil nakapagsimula na tayo, excited.... Kung mapapansin niyo po, baka sa video kanina, medyo kabado ang tingin pero masaya po talaga ako na natapos ang unang pagbabakuna dito sa atin sa PGH," Santos told PTV.


Sinovac Efficacy is Being Questioned, What Does Data Say?

By 2023, Duterte Says Philippines Can Return to Normal with Vaccines 

Legaspi said he agreed to take the Sinovac jab in deference to science. Some healthworkers have protested the use of the Chinese vaccine saying they were promised the Pfizer drug, which has a 95% efficacy rate.

Continue reading below ↓

“Nakadesisyon po tayo sa Sinovac base sa siyensya. Sinabi ko po sa town hall, alisin natin ang ating view sa vaccine, hiwalay sa pulitika, hiwala sa partido, hiwalay sa administrasyon, hiwalay sa paniniwala kundi batay sa siyensya na malinaw,” Legaspi said.


WATCH: Philippines' First Official COVID Vaccine is Given

Continue reading below ↓

COVID Vaccines Rolling Out in Visayas, Mindanao First Week of March

While the pair is considered the first authorized vaccinee and vaccinator in the Philippines, history was made months before, albeit unofficial, as some government officials andpresidential guards were inoculated with unregistered vaccines from Sinopharm.

“The important thing to remember here is whatever vaccine comes, we should welcome it because it will definitely make a difference in helping control the spread of this infection, and the first area where we should control it will be in the hospitals,” Legaspi earlier said.

Legaspi said early Monday fears of his staff were allayed when they emphasized in a town hall that they had a choice, given the expected arrival of Astrazenca vaccines.

"After the townhall meeting, naliwanagan na unang-una may choice. In-announce kasi roon sa meeting na 'yon na ang AstraZeneca ay darating kaya talagang nagkaroon ng luwag ng damdamin na ang mga tao ay naintindihan na may choice,"  he said before his vaccination. 

Continue reading below ↓

ALSO READ: Frontliners Group Protests Sinovac: 'We Deserve the Best'

Vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. said during the program: “There is no such best vaccine dahil ang pinaka-best vaccine ay yung effective and efficient na dumarating nang mas maaga."

"The best vaccine is the one that goes into your arm as soon as possible," said Dr. Edsel Salvana who heads the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the National Institute of Health. He also got the Sinovac vaccine at PGH on Monday. 

After Monday's ceremonial vaccination, PGH hopes to encourage confidence in the Sinovac jab.

Latest Headlines
Read Next
Recent News
Songs of IU, Epik High, and Seventeen were among those removed.
It's at the forefront of Philippines rollout.
What happens to their priority status?
The news. So what? Subscribe to the newsletter that explains what the news means for you.
The email address you entered is invalid.
Thank you for signing up to On Three, reportr's weekly newsletter delivered to your mailbox three times a week. Only the latest, most useful and most insightful reads.
By signing up to newsletter, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.