Eighty percent of chronic kidney disease patients undergoing dialysis here are already fully vaccinated.
Dr. Ma. Theresa Bad-ang, president of the Philippine Society of Nephrology (PNS) – Mindanao, said in an interview that the rate was reached after 450 patients received their second dose at the Holy Cross of Davao College on Monday.
A total of 1,557 patients on dialysis in hospitals were first vaccinated in May and June.
The Department of Health-Region 11 (DOH-11) also gave 500 doses of the Sinovac jab to Southern Philippines Medical Center dialysis patients in May.
“Others availed it [vaccination] in their barangays, hospital, and other vaccination sites. However, there are still those who are not vaccinated yet that is why PNS and the City Health Office coordinated with the DOH,” Bad-ang told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Mayor Sara Duterte emphasized they need to be vaccinated because they come in and out of hospitals and dialysis centers.
“Mayor Sara emphasized the need to protect the dialysis patients because they are high risk of getting infected,” Bad-ang added.
Of the 463 coronavirus-infected chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis admitted at SPMC since March last year, 92 succumbed to Covid-19.
Dose of hope
Zacarias Dominador Martije Jr., a kidney transplant recipient seven years ago, told the PNA that he believes the vaccine will protect him against Covid-19.
“It is our dose of hope now because of this deadly virus. I really wanted to get vaccinated because like me who has a kidney transplant, I have a low immune system,” he said.
He urged other dialysis and kidney transplant patients to receive the vaccine and eliminate the fear of getting infected.
“The government asked us to get vaccinated for our protection as well as for our family. Do not fear because it is our only hope to be saved from the virus,” he added.
Ferdinand Oreto, 48, who started dialysis in July, said he chose to get vaccinated for his own safety since he frequently goes to the hospital and takes public transportation.
Still, he respects the right to refuse vaccines.
“It’s their decision. We need to respect it. My sister refused to get vaccinated and persuaded me not to get it. But I told her to respect my decision as I respect theirs,” Oreto said.
Dr. Jordana Ramiterre, head of Davao City’s Reproductive Health and Wellness Center, said they are targeting to vaccinate 1,200 dialysis and kidney transplant patients, as well as the watchers, during their three-day vaccination drive which will end on Wednesday.
“Most of our clients are preregistered but we also cater to walk-in clients. We thank Holy Cross of Davao College for allowing us to use the school for our vaccination program,” she said. (PNA)