MAYNILA— Dr. Jolly Vanessa Yago, an emergency health frontliner, is a COVID-19 survivor along with her husband.
She now heads the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital vaccination program, and cannot stress enough the importance of receiving the vaccine against the coronavirus.
"Sa akin po, personally, since I’ve experienced na po na magkaroon ng COVID, so I know how it feels na you have fear for your family po and kahit 'yung mga co-workers, mga kasama mo, na ma-expose doon sa virus," Yago said.
(For me personally, since I've experienced having COVID, I know how it feels that you have fear for your family and even the co-workers, those around you, to get exposed to the virus.)
"Responsibility ko rin 'yun to take care of myself, of my family and the people around me, so sa akin po kumbaga sa vaccine na 95 percent po ganoon din po ang aking confidence na magpa-vaccinate," Yago told ABS-CBN News on the sidelines of the hospital’s second coronavirus vaccination simulation on Friday.
(It's my responsibility to take care of myself, my family, and the people around me. I could equate the confidence I have to get vaccinated with the efficacy of the vaccine, which is at 95 percent.)
Fabella spokesperson Dr. Antoinette Pacapac said half of the hospital’s around 1,500 frontline health workers and auxiliary personnel have signified their willingness to be vaccinated.
"50 percent pa lang po kami ngayon, which I think is very representative even in all our citizenry, kasi nga 'yung pag-aalinlangan na hindi pa siya well-tested. But we are convincing our employees that this is the best way to achieve herd immunity at saka para naman po maging safe hindi lamang kami kundi pati 'yung mga mahal namin sa buhay," she said.
(We are at around 50 percent right now, which I think is very representative even in our all our citizenry, because the hesitation comes from the idea that it has not been well-tested. But we are convincing our employees that this is the best way to achieve herd immunity and it's for us to be safe, well, not just us but for our loved ones too.)
Yago added, “Sa planning, sa vaccination day mismo, okay naman po kami doon; ang pinaka-challenge pa po namin actually is the number of persons po na magpapa-vaccinate."
(When it comes to the planning, the vaccination day itself, we are okay with that. The challenge however is the number of persons that will be vaccinated.)
"'Yun po talaga ang priority namin kasi kahit anong preparation natin pero if the number is hindi po maganda, so parang hindi pa rin po namin feeling na maganda naging program namin sa vaccination," said Yago.
(That is our priority because whatever the preparation, and we have bad numbers, we will feel that we did not do well with our vaccination program.)
Six stations were set up for the simulation: waiting area (step 1); registration (step 2); pre-vaccination (step 3); screening (step 4); vaccination (step 5); post-vaccination (step 6).
Those who will receive the vaccines need to present their respective immunization cards, which will be checked at the registration area.
A final counselling session will be done at the pre-vaccination area, and vital signs will be taken thereafter at the screening station.
Those inoculated will be monitored for any adverse reaction to the vaccine at the waiting area for 15 minutes, while those with pre-existing health conditions have to stay longer, 30 minutes.
Pacapac and Yago stressed the importance of simulations to perfect the entire process and prevent vaccine spoilage.
Fabella does not have a cold storage facility, which means the vaccines have to be administered immediately upon arrival at the hospital.
The Philippines has yet to begin its inoculation program and has yet to receive any COVID-19 vaccine. It is negotiating supply agreements with seven manufacturers for 148 million doses so it can inoculate 70 million adults, or two-thirds of its population.