Starting today, July 30, I am already classified as “fully vaccinated” against the coronavirus disease or COVID-19. According to the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series like AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Sinovac. The CDC explained that two weeks after vaccination is needed “for the body to build protection or immunity against the virus that causes COVID-19.”
People who have received a single-dose vaccine like the one from Johnson & Johnson have to wait for two weeks as well before being “fully vaccinated.” So far, only Johnson & Johnson offers a single-dose vaccine.
Perceptions about this Chinese-made vaccine has been greatly shaped by a report from Brazil released early this year that revealed that it has an efficacy rate of just 50.4% – compared to the efficacy rates of American-made vaccines like Moderna and Pfizer.
Like most of you, I had hesitations about this brand initially. However, various considerations made me come around. Number one, the COVID-19 vaccines from Sinovac are the ones that are readily available right now. Number two, it has been endorsed for emergency use authorization by the World Health Organization. Number three and most importantly, we need to have protection against the dangerous delta variant of COVID-19. As a COVID-19 survivor myself, I know fully well that we must take this disease seriously (I will have to write about that soon). Thankfully, I didn’t experience any side effects from it apart from having a heavy arm and feeling sleepiness.
As a public senior high school teacher and a lecturer in a state university, I have been re-classified as under A4 under the national government’s vaccine priority list. A4 includes private sector workers required to work on site; employees in government agencies and instrumentalities; and informal sector workers and self-employed who may be required to work outside their residences, and those working in private households.
I had it courtesy of the Quezon City local government, with me booking an appointment via EzConsult. I was able to get a slot quickly because I have two advantages as a night owl with a stable internet at home. But what about the others?
Again, this is about being able to secure a life-saving vaccine, not an airplane ticket bought during Piso fare promo. The QC government led by Mayor Joy Belmonte has since ended its partnership with EZConsult, although the existing vaccine booking appointment system has not been better.
So let me end this post by urging you to please check your eligibility to receive a vaccine and book an appointment as soon as possible with your local government units!