As ceremonial COVID-19 vaccinations were happening at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), a phrase started trending on Twitter—and a “script” to go along with it.
Over 6,700 people were seen using the phrase “safe and effective” to show support for healthcare workers (HCWs) who refused to be inoculated with Sinovac’s controversial COVID-19 vaccine, CoronaVac.
The band of supporters—mostly coming from the youth—tweeted their full names and an affiliation along with condemning the use of CoronaVac for the HCWs posted at PGH.
I, Ivan Legaspi of Christian Youth Fellowship, condemn the ceremonial vaccination happening now at PGH. We stand with the healthcare workers in campaigning for a SAFE and EFFECTIVE vaccine for everyone.#BantayBakuna#SafeAndEffectiveVaccinesForAll #StandWithHCWs
— ivanism (@VannIvan07) March 1, 2021
I, Gandara of @AnakbayanFEUA, condemn the ceremonial vaccination happening now at PGH. We stand with the healthcare workers in campaigning for a SAFE and EFFECTIVE vaccine for everyone.#BantayBakuna#SafeAndEffectiveVaccinesForAll#StandWithHCWs
— gandara (@baboysibaban) March 1, 2021
I, Verse Abellaneda of UP BS Public Health, condemn the ceremonial vaccination happening now at PGH. We stand with the healthcare workers in campaigning for a SAFE and EFFECTIVE vaccine for everyone.#BantayBakuna#SafeAndEffectiveVaccinesForAll#StandWithHCWs
— dear leader (@versetheturnip) March 1, 2021
I, Yla Zeth Pascual of OSR-CORE, CASFC, express serious concerns on the ceremonial vaccination at PGH due to the questionable data and reliability of Sinovac. We stand with HCW in calling for a SAFE and EFFECTIVE vaccine for all.#BantayBakuna#SafeAndEffectiveVaccinesForAll
— yz #DefendUP (@hetzbae) March 1, 2021
These tweets started picking up steam just as vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., PGH Director Dr. Gerardo “Gap” Legaspi, IATF infectious diseases consultant Dr. Edsel Salvana, and MMDA chief Benhur Abalos were getting their CoronaVac jabs.
Others who were present at the PGH and other ceremonial inoculations and were subsequently given the vaccine were Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director General Eric Domingo, testing vice czar Vince Dizon, and TALA Hospital Director Fritz Famaran, the latter two receiving their shots at TALA Hospital.
An insider from PGH, however, would reveal that not everyone present at PGH would receive the controversial vaccine, as getting the shot was still voluntary.
The insider would also reveal that most of the people who received CoronaVac shots at PGH were consultants and institution or government leaders, most of whom were within the parameters set by the FDA.
These parameters were being between 18 and 59 years of age, being “clinically healthy”, and not being exposed to COVID-19 patients as much as healthcare workers.
CoronaVac vaccinations are set to properly start March 2, according to the PGH insider.
Side-effects already seen in HCWs
The ceremonial inoculations, meant to gain public trust, would take a hit after no less than 5 people were brought to the emergency room at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC).
At least 5 people have been brought to the emergency room of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center, after receiving COVID vaccine. One patient experienced rashes which doctors say could be a mild allergic reaction. The other patients are still under observation. | @davidyusantos pic.twitter.com/FZChrJAfTx
— CNN Philippines (@cnnphilippines) March 1, 2021
One of the five HCWs was said to have experienced rashes, which doctors attributed to a mild allergic reaction. All five have since been released after being cleared by ER personnel.
According to Dr. Johann Giovanni Mea, spokesperson for the VMMC, patients being taken to their ER was part of standard protocol after getting immunized.
This caused a bit of a stir on social media, riling up those who were for and against Sinovac’s controversial COVID-19 vaccine.
Some netizens would say it proves the initial assessment given by the FDA on CoronaVac, while others passed it off as normal.
As for netizens campaigning for “safe and effective” vaccines, the battle rages on as CoronaVac’s phase 3 testing results have yet to appear before health experts.