Cover MANILA, PHILIPPINES - MARCH 02: A military nurse holds up a vial of Sinovac Biotech's CoronaVac during vaccination of military officers at the Philippine Army headquarters in Fort Bonifacio on March 2, 2021 in Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines. The Philippines has begun its vaccination program after receiving 600,000 doses of Sinovac Biotech's CoronaVac vaccines donated by the Chinese government. The Philippines is the last country in the ASEAN to receive its official supply of coronavirus vaccines. (Photo

Around the world, COVID-19 vaccines are making headlines on the daily. Here's what you need to know about it in the context of our country today

Vaccination: it's the buzzword of the year.

The world, which is eagerly looking forward to a better, more "normal" tomorrow, has its eyes set on one thing: COVID-19 vaccines. Every day, headlines come out to bring us more and more information on the hows, the whens, and the whys. In other parts of the world—such as in Israel and in the United States—vaccine rollout has been quick and efficient. In the Philippines, the story is a little different. Amid the surge of cases, vaccines have become hard to come by. Only 2.5 million doses have arrived in the Philippines; 525,600 of which were AstraZeneca doses from the COVAX facility, and the rest from Sinovac. As the country waits for more arrivals, local government units (LGUs) wasted no time in delivering these shots to healthcare workers and seniors. 

Read also: 3 Positive Life Lessons We've Learned From The COVID-19 Pandemic

 

Local Prioritisation

In the Philippines, most LGUs have been able to vaccinate healthcare workers, who are on the A1 prioritisation, already. Some cities, such as San Juan and Manila, have also begun inoculating A2 (senior citizens) as well. San Juan has been doing this alongside A3 prioritisation, which puts persons with comorbidity on the list of eligible receivers. At the moment, these three subgroups are the only people who are legally allowed to receive doses though hopefully, the A4 (frontline personnel in essential sectors) and A5 (indigent population) will be able to receive theirs soon too. 

The B class groups include B1 (teachers and social workers), B2 (government workers), B3 ("other essential workers"), B4 ("socio-demographic groups at significantly higher risk other than senior citizens and indigenous people"), B5 (OFWs), B6 (other remaining workforce). The rest of the Filipino population will be classified in the C group. 

The prioritisation may still change. Government officials have been urged to elevate prioritisation for teachers, for example. Following reports of mayors line-jumping, governors and mayors in high-risk areas are also now allowed to get vaccinated. 

 

Where To Get Vaccinated

Cities in Metro Manila and around NCR+ now have pre-registration sites for vaccines. If you would like to register, please click according to your city: 

Bulacan: Pulilan

Laguna: Los Baños 

Metro Manila

- Caloocan 

- Las Piñas

- Makati

- Malabon

- Mandaluyong 

- Manila

- Muntinlupa

- Navotas

- Parañaque

- Pasig (in conjunction with Pasig Pass app)

- Quezon City

- San Juan

- Taguig (in conjunction with Taguig Trace app)

- Valenzuela

Rizal 

- Antipolo

- Taytay

Why Get Vaccinated?

It's understandable why some people are still hesitant to get vaccinated. However, it is important to remember that vaccines are a huge tool for us to overcome the pandemic on an individual level, as well as on a societal level.

Getting vaccinated lowers your chances of contracting the virus. This is because the vaccine helps your body familiarise itself with how to defend the body from COVID-19. This in turn could help protect you, and those around you. 

Although it is possible to contract COVID-19 after getting vaccinated (since none of the vaccines offers 100% efficacy), vaccines will oftentimes alleviate symptoms so that they are milder than they would have been without the vaccine. It's also important to note that while different vaccines have differing efficacy rates, all vaccines prevent death and severe disease.  

Read also: How To Avoid Covid-19: Tips To Stay Healthy & Sanitised