MANILA — A vaccine expert on Wednesday issued reminders for people with hypertension before they take COVID-19 shots.
At the same time, Philippine Foundation for Vaccination executive director Dr. Lulu Bravo rejected rumors that those who suffer from high blood pressure should not get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
"Kung sila ay dati nang may altapresyon, hindi naman bawal na magkaroon ka ng bakuna... Puwede kang mabakunahan," said Bravo, who is also chairperson of the National Adverse Events Following Immunization Committee.
(If they have hypertension, they are not prohibited from getting vaccinated. You can get vaccinated.)
"In fact, kailangan nilang magpabakuna kasi iyong mga may altapresyon iyong may malaking danger o risk na magkaroon ng severe COVID ‘pag sila ay na-expose," she said in a televised public briefing.
(In fact, they need to get vaccinated because those with hypertension face the great danger or risk of developing severe COVID if they are exposed.)
Before heading to vaccination centers, those with hypertension should ensure that their blood pressure is below 140 and they are not experiencing symptoms like chest pain, head aches or pain on the nape, Bravo said.
People with hypertension should also take their medication before getting vaccinated and consult their doctor if their blood pressure remains too high, she said.
Hypertension sufferers are classified under "A3," the third priority group in government's vaccination drive. The group also includes people with hypertension, diabetes, asthma, kidney and liver diseases.
Video courtesy of PTV
The Philippines has received 7.779 million COVID-19 shots. Authorities have administered at least 3,001,875 of these doses as of May 16.
Bravo said only about 3 percent experienced adverse effects from coronavirus vaccines, including high blood pressure, fatigue, fever, and chills. These effects on the average lasted for 2 to 3 days, she said.
Those who suffered from COVID-19 even after they got vaccinated actually caught the novel coronavirus before their inoculation. Health workers account for most cases like this, she said.
The doctor said authorities recorded a post-vaccination death. But it was caused by underlying conditions that went untreated long before the vaccination.
"Wala po kaming nakita na ang bakuna ng Sinovac at Astra[Zeneca] ay may dahilan para sabihin nating ito po ay nakamatay o nakasama," said Bravo.
(We are investigating, studying that. And until now, we cannot say that any vaccine distributed—whether Sinovac or AstraZeneca—has a link to what could happen after vaccination.)
"Ang masasabi ko lang, magtiwala sila [publiko] dapat kasi po daan-daan nang eksperto po ang tumututok," she said.
(All I can say is they should trust vaccines because hundreds of experts are monitoring this.)