Friday, September 10, 2021

Should You Get Anti-Covid19 Vaccines even if You have Allergies?


COVID-19 has changed the way we work, study, travel, and interact with people. As businesses gradually reopen across the country, employers double down their efforts to keep everyone safe.

Have you been vaccinated against Covid-19? According to reports, fully vaccinated people were 11 times less likely to die of COVID-19 and 10 times less likely to be hospitalized compared to the unvaccinated since highly contagious Delta became the most common variant.

I have a confession to I write this, I have just recovered from Covid-19 virus. My husband is working as a frontliner as part of a team that works for a home laboratory. Anyway, to make the long story short, I got the virus from him and so did the rest of our household. We were home quarantined for two weeks and we were quiet about it for fear that we might be whisked off to an isolation facility and we didn't want that to happen.

Luckily, we were all completely vaccinated so we were able to survive Covid-19 by resting at home, taking in as much Vitamin C as we can, and eating nutritious vegetables and fruits. Having experienced COvid-19 virus wasn't exactly a walk in the park, it wasn't easy. COVID is REAL. We lost our sense of taste and our olfactory nerves weren't functioning well too. Food tasted so bad that I didn't have an appetite for days. I survived eating soda flakes and Pocari Sweat. I also experienced diarrhea, colds and coughs. There were times when I also had difficulty in breathing too. But glad it was all over now.

As I watched this new episode of Usapang Puso sa Puso entitled: "Pangamba sa Bakuna: Ang Puso sa Gitna ng Pandemya version 2.0", a live Zoom and FB stream lecture/talk about the Covid Virus and the effects of its anti-vaccines spearheaded by the Philippine Heart Association and hosted by expert cardiologists Dr. Luigi Pierre Segundo and Dr. Ricky Tiongco. They have guest panelists and experts such as Dr. Razel Nikka Hao, OIC-Director, DOH Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, Dr. Regina Berba, Infectious Disease Specialist, and Dr. Marysia Stella Recto, Allergy & Immunology Specialist.

Usapang Puso sa Puso hosts Dr. Luigi Pierre Segundo and Dr. Ricky Tiongson

It was discussed during the program that If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination provider site, you need to seek immediate medical care. But even if you have certain allergies, you can still get vaccinated. 

According to experts, the immediate allergic reaction from vaccines happens within 4 hours after getting vaccinated and could include symptoms such as hives, swelling, and wheezing (respiratory distress). 

Even though there is a risk of anaphylaxis (an allergic reaction to antigen) it’s still very small — and the potential benefit from the COVID-19 vaccination clearly exceeds the potential for harm,” says Dr. Recto. “The situation is evolving, however, and we’ll learn more as we gain more experience with these vaccines.”

It's understandable that hearing about allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines can make people slightly uneasy. Dr. Berba believes educating patients on the infrequency of adverse reactions and the truth about common vaccination myths can help put more people at ease. 

"Most patients claim they got sick from a vaccine when they're really referring to a natural immune response from the vaccine. Fever, chills, and muscle aches can occur within 36 hours of vaccination because a patient's immune system is responding appropriately in developing immunity after receiving the vaccine, it's not an allergic reaction," explains Dr. Berba. 

She also adds that delayed reactions are due to immune response, as well as fatigue, soreness at the injection site and vasovagal reactions(drop in blood pressure, fainting episodes), are not cause for avoiding COVID-19 vaccines. This is especially important to keep in mind if a reaction occurs after the first dose of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccination.

Only those with a known allergy from vaccine ingredients should consider not getting vaccinated for COVID-19. And if you have an allergic reaction after the first shot, you shouldn't get the second shot. Anaphylaxis commonly occurs within 30 minutes of exposure nd would be unusual after 60 minutes. 

Patients with allergies to other medications, foods or inhalants can receive the COVID-19 vaccine with normal precautions. This typically includes a 15-minute observation period after the injection based on DOH guidelines. Again, it's always advisable that if you have questions about COVID-19  vaccines, or aren't quite sure about what you should do, talk to your doctor.

Dr. Berba adds: "Normal ang lagnat at pakiramdam na t trangkasuhin sa 24-48 hours. If MORE THAN 72 HOURS NA LAGNAT, TIGNAN ANG VACCINATED PAPERS, may mga phone numbers na nakasaad doon kung saan pwede pong mag-report. Expected na may side effects...pero very minimal lang."

Now, if you didn't feel anything, it doesn't necessarily mean that the vaccine isn't doing its job or it isn't effective. Dr. Berba says, "For me nga parang maswerte ka pa. Sa ibang tao lang, stronger ang immune response kaya wala kang mga ganitong side effects."

Dr. Segundo says as of now, only 67% of the population has received their vaccination. For those who happen to have maintenance medicines, it's okay to get yourselves vaccinated but you still have to take all your maintenance medicines along with the vaccines. 

"Sa may mga chronic illnesses, 2 months after the start of treatment, pwede napumunta sa vaccine center. Finish niyo po muna ang antibiotics. Yan po and general guide. If you have other worries, consult with your doctor. Ang vaccination sites, may quality assurance po ito. May qualifiers, criteria, a checklist to make sure ang lahat po ay safe sa sites… Pero bilang tayo pupunta dun, make sure din po na wala tayong symptoms. Walang lagnat, walang sore throat… at proper po ang face shield and mask at practice social distancing."

"Bale sa mask po, by now dapat ma figure out nyo na yung mask na bagay sa inyo."There are lots of choices for  masks now. Get something that's snugly fit. The kind that's not too loose nor too tight. Something that's just right. "

What most people don't realize these days is that vaccines no matter what brand helps save lives. Vaccines efficacy to protect you against severe disease or complications from COVID virus is what's most important. And not because you're fully vaccinated means you won't get infected anymore. You might still get infected. But it will save you from mortality, you would only get something mild and might not cause you death or hospitalization.

I myself have been fully vaccinated with Sinovac and so did my husband and nephew who were both vaccinated with Pfizer brand. But we've all had Covid too. But it wasn't the life-threatening one. Thank God for the protection we've received from our respective vaccines. 

What is the most effective brand of anti-COVID vaccine? It depends on the person's immunity. Huwag matakot magpabakuna. Walang specific brand to a specific comorbidity. Ang mga naka immuno suppressant, relatively mahina nga lang protection nila against virus. If ever may chance sila na mabakunahan, we advise them ung mga hindi live or whole virus vaccine. At ITO YUNG BIHIRA sa country natin. Kaunti lang itong group na ito. Even those patients undergoing chemo, they can get vaccinated too. 

For more information about heart health and other COVID-related topics, learn and join the discussion from Usapang Puso sa Puso episodes on Facebook. Follow the Philippine Heart Association Facebook Page.  

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