Who should or should not take COVID-19 vaccines?

By Mary Rose delos Santos

In the 39th installment of the University of the Philippines’ webinar series on 5 February 2021 titled, “Stop COVID Deaths: Virtual Grand Rounds,” Drs. Regina Berba and Inay Dans from the UP-Philippine General Hospital and Dr. Shelley Ann Dela Vega of the National Institutes of Health from UP-Manila highly recommended getting COVID-19 vaccination as the only way to develop herd immunity. 

However, they advised people with specific health conditions to consult their health professionals before inoculation. These people are:

1. People who will experience immediate allergic reactions to first dose of COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components such as polyethylene glycols (PEG) and polysorbates. If a patient had rashes or severe anaphylactic reaction after injecting the first dose of COVID-19, experts advised not to get the second dose.

2. People who had allergic reactions to other types of vaccines or injected therapy should consult their immunologists for evaluation.

3. Immune-compromised individuals with the following conditions:

a. severe allergy to a vaccine component;

b. history of severe allergy to any vaccine or injectable medication;

4. People who currently have COVID-19 should wait until they have recovered. If a person had antibody therapy as part of treatment, he/she should wait for three (3) months before getting vaccinated; and

5. Children below 16 years old, as their case are still being studied.

Meanwhile, experts from UP-PGH recommend vaccination to individuals with immunodeficiency and autoimmune diseases but advised to consult their healthcare provider to determine personal risks and benefits and whether to receive the vaccine or not. 

People who were infected with COVID-19 in the past may still benefit from getting the vaccine. Older people without allergies to vaccines should get vaccinated since many of them have chronic degenerative diseases that predispose them to COVID-19 complications and death.