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TIMESMAN | Kudos Dr. Ricardo Audan!

THE symbolic rollout of the 12,000 doses of Chinese-donated Synovac vaccines to the city at the Southern Philippines Medical Center last Friday, led by Health Secretary Francisco Duque and SPMC – OIC Dr. Ricardo Audan, was an overnight success.

Credit goes to our President, to some brave souls in the medical profession and to the media that help educate the hesitant public on the importance of having the deadly virus eliminates.
But the last minute decision of Dr. Audan, who volunteered to receive the first shot of the vaccine to shore up the confidence of the Dabawenyos on the vaccine that it is safe, is to me the turning point to encourage more SPMC frontliners to be inoculated.

“I volunteered to be the first one to receive it – as the leader of the SPMC – to increase the percentage of workers who will volunteer to get vaccinated. Even though I have high blood (hypertension), I will show them that the Synovac Covid-19 vaccine is safe,” he said.

You have my respect, Doc. It only shows that you have the balls and not afraid of the consequences of your brave action, unlike your boss in the health department who until today is yet to prove his worth as health secretary.

Secretary Duque has not taken the vaccine dose yet, or he may not even in the future. He is not a good example to his subordinates as he continue to hide on health protocol that senior citizens are not safe to get the shot.

Eh bakit ang ibang matanda pa sa kanya sa ibang bansa nag boluntaryong magpaturok?
Ako, I might take the vaccine shot, not because I want to imitate the courageous act of the SPMC-OIC doctor but because of my children abroad.

Even before the arrival of the first batch of the Synovac vaccines last week and even before Dr. Audan to take the lead in having himself vaccinated, I already conditioned my mind to receive the vaccine after my children in the United States and Canada were vaccinated.

I wrote in my previous column that my daughter Tala in the United States got the first shot of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine and she has to wait for another 28 days for the second shot, and not from Johnson and Johnson I erroneously published in that column. My sincere apology to my daughter and readers for the big mistake!

Tala said “You can’t mix the vaccine sa ibang brand. Hindi puede magkaiba. Kung Moderna vaccine ang first shot, Moderna rin ang second shot. Kung Pfizer ang first shot, ang second shot Pfizer din, and you only need to wait for 21 days for the second shot unlike Moderna’s 28 days.”

“Ang Johnson & Johnson vaccine is one shot lang, hindi na kailangan ang second shot,” she further explained.
Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson are three leading manufacturers of anti-Covid-19 vaccines in the United States, while the donated 600,000 Sinovac vaccines the country received were from China. President Duterte personally received the first batch at the Villamor Airbase last week.

Last January, my namesake son Jeckjeck, a medical staff at Abbot Hospital in Vancouver, Canada was also vaccinated with Pfizer shot, while Tala’s fiancée, Nathan Hilgendorf, an industrial engineer in Illinois, USA had his first with Pfizer last week.

“First half done and I didn’t even cry…that much,” Nathan twitted.
If my children have the shots of the vaccines by themselves, why not me? Mga anak ko rin sila. Hindi puedeng magkaiba ang aming genes!

Or, I might not try the Covid-19 vaccine after-all as I am thinking whether the shot will still save or prolong the life of a septuagenarian like me. Or, my age can protect me from being infected with the deadly virus!
I’m not afraid of the needle anymore. Every night, my son Jin Lorenz takes my sugar, and every three months I undergo complete blood countn the hospital. And the results of every three-month checkup, my doctor always says: “Very good!”

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