San Lazaro Hospital health workers get CoronaVac
MANILA, Philippines – Health workers of San Lazaro Hospital in Manila City on Wednesday received their first dose of new coronavirus vaccine manufactured by Chinese drugmaker Sinovac BioTech.
Their inoculation was part of the government’s initial rollout of its COVID-19 vaccination program using the 600,000 doses of CoronaVac donated by the Chinese government.
Dr. Rontgene Solante, head of San Lazaro Hospital’s Adult Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine unit, believed it was better for health workers to get CoronaVac even if its efficacy rate is only at 50.4% than not get immunized at all. Solante was among those vaccinated with the first dose of CoronaVac on Wednesday.
“Ang sinasabi ko sa kanila if this has 50 percent efficacy and then if you will compare it with other vaccines, mahirap tayo mag-compare ngayon kasi tayo ‘yung frontliners. Tayo ‘yung every day taking care of [COVID-19 patients], mas maigi na rin ito kesa wala tayong protection,” he said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer.
(What I am telling them is if this has 50 percent efficacy and then if you will compare it with other vaccines, it is hard to compare now because we are the frontliners. We are the ones taking care of COVID-19 patients every day, so it’s better to have this than have no protection at all.)
While CoronaVac’s efficacy may not be 100%, it will protect against severe COVID-19, Solante noted.
Nurse Mary Grace Yburan echoed Solante’s remark that it is important for health workers to be vaccinated because they attend to COVID-19 patients.
“Mas maganda kasi ma-protektahan kami lalo na kami ‘yung humaharap sa isa sa mga COVID-19 patients so para sa proteksyon na rin po namin ‘yun,” she said.
(It’s better for us to be protected especially since we are the ones attending to some COVID-19 patients, so it’s for our protection.)
For nurse Kathleen De Leon, it is their responsibility as health workers to get vaccinated against the new coronavirus as they are the front liners in this pandemic.
“As a healthcare worker po kasi responsibility po naming na mag-participate po sa pagbabakuna po at the same time po kailangan din po kami ay bakunado kasi po kami ‘yung naka-frontline kami,” she said.
(As a healthcare worker, it is our responsibility to participate in this vaccination and at the same time, we need to be vaccinated because we are at the front line.)
Two doctors of San Lazaro Hospital said they were initially hesitant to receive CoronaVac but eventually opted to get it.
They also said they became “more confident” in entering COVID-19 wards after getting their first dose.
“Syempre we feel protected po and mas confident kami to go inside the COVID-19 wards. Safe sa feeling, kaya have your vaccinations. Ang alam namin syempre Pfizer pero Sinovac, but since Sinovac is here eh ‘di i-take namin we still need to be protected,” San Lazaro infectious disease specialist Dr. Shirley Manera said.
(Of course, we feel protected and more confident to go inside the COVID-19 wards. It feels safe, have your vaccinations. At first, we know the vaccine will be Pfizer but since Sinovac is here we took it, we still need to be protected.)
Dr. Richard Manera IV of San Lazaro’s General Surgery, meanwhile, said: “Actually lahat naman ng tao, at first, they’re hesitant na knowing na Sinovac is the vaccine. Eventually, in our minds, we need to be vaccinated for our protection and to continue to serve the patients here.”
About 178 health workers of San Lazaro Hospital were set to receive their vaccine on Wednesday, March 3, according to hospital spokesperson Dr. Ferdinand de Guzman.
– Liezelle Soriano Roy, trainee
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