Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chief Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. on Monday encouraged the public to take any of the vaccines against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) as he joined other government officials who were inoculated with CoronaVac vaccine, developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech.
“Ang sabi ng mga doktor, your choice, kung ano gusto ninyo. Ang importante magpa-bakuna kayo (The doctors said, your choice, whatever you want. What’s important is you get vaccinated),” Abalos said.
Despite the MMDA’s plan to later immunize its 8,000 personnel with AstraZeneca vaccines, Abalos said he went ahead and received the Sinovac vaccine to help ease worries of the public on vaccination.
“May agam agam sa unang vaccine, so ako minabuti ko na para makatulong sa bansa, na makita nila na walang nangyari kay chairman, na maayos siya (There are doubts about this new vaccine, so I decided to help the country by showing that I’ll be just fine),” Abalos said in a radio interview over DZBB.
Before he received the vaccine, Abalos said he researched and sought the opinion of professionals and found it to be safe.
“Nag-saliksik ako at maganda naman ang pananaliksik ko. Unang-una, ito ang tradisyonal na proseso. Kinuha ng Sinovac yung virus mismo at tinanggal niya yung masasamang karakter. Parang bala na walang pulbura (I researched and what I found was good. First, it was made through the traditional process. This is where Sinovac took the virus and removed the bad parts. It’s like a bullet without gun powder),” Abalos said.
In a Viber message, MMDA Public Affairs chief Sharon Gentalian said Abalos has not exhibited any side effects and is feeling well after his vaccination.
Abalos was vaccinated at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) along with PGH director Dr. Gerardo Legaspi, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., and other health workers.
On Sunday, the country received its first 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines donated by China. (PNA)