Be in the know when it comes to local government units (LGUs) vaccination programs, available COVID-19 tests, and medical institutions providing telemedicine services in case you or someone you know needs medical attention.
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COVID-19 vaccines contain parts of SARS-CoV 2 (the virus causing COVID-19) which trigger an immune response in the body that creates protective proteins (antibodies) against the virus. It's an added layer of protection that prevents a person from developing severe disease and reduces the risk of transmission.
The goal of vaccination in the community is to reach herd immunity. It is a state where the majority of the population in a certain community is immune to the disease and makes transmission less likely. Achieving herd immunity also protects those vulnerable to the disease who cannot receive the vaccines.
• Whole virus vaccines use a weakened or deactivated disease-causing pathogen that triggers a protective immune response.
2. RNA or mRNA Vaccine
• COVID-19 RNA vaccines carry mRNA molecules that code for parts of the coronavirus, specifically its spike protein. Once injected, it instructs the body to produce spike protein antigens that are further recognized by the immune system. The body produces antibodies against these spike proteins, thus killing the virus and infected cells.
3. Viral Vector Vaccine
• This type uses a harmless and modified version of the virus (known as "the vector") that works by giving cells genetic instructions to create antigens and trigger an immune response.
4. Protein Subunit Vaccine
• A protein subunit vaccine carries purified "pieces" of a pathogen to trigger an immune response. It uses a well-established vaccine technology, making it a safe choice for those with compromised immune systems.
COVID-19 is an infectious respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV 2) that can bring mild to critical breathing problems and affect the upper and lower part of the respiratory tract. The Philippines first case of COVID-19-positive patient, who traveled to the Philippines from Wuhan, China (where the virus first broke out), was confirmed on January 21, 2020.
As of this writing, there have been a total of 1,372,232 cases in the Philippines, with over 23,000 deaths.
Common Symptoms of COVID-19
People who got infected with COVID-19 experienced mild to severe symptoms. The most common among those who were hospitalized include:
• Fever or chills • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing • Loss of taste or smell • Fatigue • Headache • Sore throat • Dry cough • Muscle pain or body aches
Older adults and people with existing medical conditions like lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk of developing severe complications from the virus.
• Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly Clean your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Don't forget to lather the soap between your fingers, under your fingernails, and on your wrists. When you cannot wash your hands, use hand sanitizer or alcohol.
• Wear a mask and face shield Wear a mask in public, such as when grocery shopping and when speaking with other people. Make sure to cover your nose and mouth and secure it under the chin. Since a face shield is mandatory in the Philippines, don't forget to wear one when going out.
• Take physical distancing seriously Maintain a 6-feet distance between yourself and others who don't live in your household and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your face Restrict yourself from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unclean hands.
• Keep personal items personal Avoid sharing personal items like phones, makeup, utensils, cups, and food to avoid possible virus transmission.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces Use alcohol-based or chlorine-based disinfectants to eliminate bacteria and viruses on hard surfaces in your home or when dining outside.
• Get vaccinated An authorized COVID vaccine helps protect against COVID-19. Register to get vaccinated when you can.
What to Do When You're COVID-19 Positive with Mild Symptoms
• Observe strict home isolation and quarantine of close contacts When symptoms start to develop, strictly stay at home and isolate yourself from your loved ones. Close contacts of infected individuals should quarantine at home and observe for development of symptoms.
• Wear a mask Wear a mask at home and encourage your caretaker or family members to do the same. Practice proper hygiene as well.
• Do not self-medicate Follow your doctor's recommendations about at-home care and isolation for yourself and the others in your household.
• Refer to telemedicine facilities Avoid going to a hospital if you are asymptomatic to avoid unnecessary exposure for you or your family members. Refer to the telemedicine facilities above to seek medical advice.
• See a medical professional when symptoms worsen If the symptoms (e.g., difficulty breathing, worsening fever and cough, dehydration) start to worsen, head to the hospital immediately.
As soon as you are eligible to get the shot, you should get vaccinated to protect yourself and others against the virus. All vaccines that are currently being used can prevent severe disease, hospitalizations, and death.
The most common side effects of vaccination include pain and tenderness in the injection site, fever, fatigue, headache, and dizziness. These symptoms should go away 2-3 days after getting vaccinated. Consult with a healthcare professional if you experience severe, persistent or worsening symptoms
The best vaccine for you is the vaccine you can get as soon as possible. As soon as you take the shot and complete the required dose, you prevent yourself from severe illness caused by the coronavirus. Delaying your vaccination might only leave you and others with a high risk of contracting COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccines cleared for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) are considered safe and effective.
Theoretically COVID-19 vaccines are safe. The age recommendations for each vaccine are based on the studies that vaccine companies provide to the FDA. Sinovac can be given to healthy individuals aged 18–59 years old, while AstraZeneca can be administered to those who are 18 years old and above, including senior citizens. Recently, Pfizer has been cleared to be administered to children aged 12–15 years old. Vaccine companies conduct ongoing studies that look at the safety and effectivity of their vaccines across different age groups.
Like all other vaccines, there are risks for complications, but severe or life-threatening reactions are extremely rare. The benefits of getting vaccinated far outweigh the risks.
No vaccine is 100% effective. The vaccine will dramatically reduce the risk of infection, but it is still possible to get infected. Thus it is important to still follow the minimum health protocols.
Yes, you should get vaccinated whether or not you have had COVID-19. This is because it's not certain how long the natural antibody can protect you from reinfection after recovering from the disease. For patients who have had COVID-19, the vaccination will further boost your immune response to the virus.