DOH Undersecretary Enrique D. Domingo administers the ceremonial measles vaccination to an elementary school student of Sta. Rosa Elementary School Central III during the launching of the “Back to Bakuna: School-Based Immunization Program for CALABARZON in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna with Provincial Health Team Leader Dr. Gigi G. Janairo (center), Family Health Unit Head Dr. Felices Emerita P. Perez (left) and DOHO and the student’s guardian (right) held on July 25, 2019 (Photo from Glen Ramos, DOH Region IV-A)

Filipinos who have had “severe” reactions to vaccines in the past should consult their doctors first before lining up for Covid-19 vaccines, the Department of Health advised on Wednesday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said severe allergic reactions were among the primary factors that could potentially make vaccination inadvisable.

“Doon po sa mga taong nagkaroon na ng experience na nag-experience sila ng severe reactions, allergic reactions noong sila ay dating nabakunahan ng kahit na anong bakuna, kailangan pong hindi muna bigyan ang taong ito at ma-asses siya ng kaniyang doktor,” she said in a Laging Handa briefing.

People with food allergies should also obtain certification from their doctors before being given the vaccines.

“Kung ang mga allergies naman po ay para naman sa pagkain o kaya ay allergy sa gamot kailangan lang hong makahingi ng assessment and certification from their doctor and they are very well to receive the vaccines,” Vergeire explained.

“Hindi po contraindications na kayo ay may allergies sa gamot o sa pagkain. Kailangan lang hong ma-certify ng doktor that you will be eligible and you can receive the vaccine,” she said.

To date, only Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccines have been approved for emergency use in the country.

According to Vergeire, those allergic to polyethylene glycol should avoid the Pfizer vaccine, which has it as an ingredient.

The country has yet to sign a deal with Pfizer, but vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. earlier said officials were “negotiating for more or less 40 million doses” from the American firm. John Ezekiel J. Hirro