COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

How do vaccines prevent disease?

Vaccines mimic the virus or bacteria that cause disease and triggers the body’s creation of antibodies. These antibodies will provide protection once a person is infected with the actual disease-causing virus or bacteria.

How do vaccines differ?

Vaccines differ in their composition and how they trigger the immune response to create antibodies. These antibodies protect the body from microorganisms and serve as protection once a person gets infected with the disease. Vaccines can be inactivated, weakened, or killed copies of the whole or part of the virus or bacteria, or genetic product (like mRNA vaccines) that creates protein copies without causing disease.

What are the possible side effects of vaccination?

The possible side effects of a vaccine include pain, redness, itchiness, or swelling at the injection site (which may last a few hours); fever; feeling of weakness or fatigue; headache; dizziness; diarrhea; or nausea. Consult the nearest healthcare professional if you experience any of these.

Is vaccination mandatory?

No, vaccination is not mandatory. But the government highly encourages the public to get vaccinated and be protected against preventable disease.

Why do we need to get vaccinated for COVID-19?

With the BIDA steps and observance of minimum public health standards, vaccination is an important way to protect yourself from getting severe COVID-19.

BIDA stands for:
B – Bawal walang mask
I – I-sanitize ang mga kamay, iwas-hawak sa mga bagay
D – Dumitansya ng isang metro
A – Alamin ang totoong impormasyon

When will the COVID-19 vaccine be available?

The government is currently in the advanced stages of negotiations with various vaccine manufacturers. We expect the first vaccine supply to arrive in the first quarter of 2021.

What is an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?

It is an authorization granted through a risk-based procedure for assessing unregistered (under development) vaccines or drugs during public health emergencies of international concern. It aims to expedite the availability of the vaccine or drug to people affected by public health emergencies based on an essential set of available quality, safety, and efficacy performance data.

Who will get the vaccines first?

Frontline health workers, senior citizens, indigent population, and uniformed personnel are the priority groups to be vaccinated.

Why will the prioritized groups get the vaccine first?

With the initial limited supply, frontline health workers and uniformed personnel are prioritized since they have a higher risk of exposure while on duty and to allow them to continue fulfilling their duties in both the public and private sectors. Vulnerable groups such as the elderly and the indigent population, are prioritized guided by the principle of equity.

Can I purchase the vaccine from private clinics or pharmacies?

No, you cannot purchase COVID-19 vaccines from private clinics or pharmacies. At present, only the government is duly authorized to procure and administer vaccines. Until a full market authorization is issued by the Philippine FDA, any COVID-19 vaccine should not be sold to the public.

Is the vaccine free for priority groups?

The cost of vaccines for priority groups will be shouldered by the Philippine government.

If I am not part of the priority group, how will I get access to the vaccine?

The government is continuing negotiations to ensure adequate vaccine supply for all Filipinos, including those not in the priority groups.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe and effective?

COVID-19 vaccines that are granted with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are considered safe and effective based on the available evidence to date.

Are there risks for complications when given the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, like all other vaccines, there are risks of complications BUT SEVERE OR LIFE-THREATENING REACTIONS ARE EXTREMELY RARE. The benefit of protection against severe COVID-19 is greater than the risk. Anyone who will get the vaccine will be properly evaluated and closely monitored by health professionals to further minimize any risk.

Are there risks for complications when given the COVID-19 vaccine?

We urge the public to be more vigilant with the information found online. Let us make it a habit to fact check and verify with reliable sources (DOH Facebook page, DOH website, WHO website, PIA website) regarding new information. Continue observing the minimum public health standards to prevent further transmission of the virus.

Why Vaccinate?

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken many lives and continues to put many at risk. It has also disrupted the economy, leaving many Filipinos jobless or underemployed.

With the availability of COVID-19 vaccines which can (1) prevent symptomatic infection and possibly (2) prevent severe infection and (3) prevent transmission, we have the opportunity to get ahead of the virus.

However, like many vaccines being used in the past decades, the protective effect on our community is maximized only when at least 70% of the population gets vaccinated.

For example, if your barangay has 100,000 people, at least 70,000 should be vaccinated to ensure the protection of the community.

So remember, this is not just about getting you or your family vaccinated, this is about getting your barangay, city, province up for it.

Which vaccines will we use in the country?

There is currently a limited supply of vaccines all over the world. In fact, 80% of global stocks have been bought by high-income countries already. 

Because no single company can provide vaccines for 110 million of us, the government is in talks with 7 manufacturers.  But rest assured that only vaccines that have received the Philippine FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization or EUA will be bought and used. The EUA provides the assurance that it has been thoroughly evaluated and recommended by our various independent expert panels.

Also, please do not worry, COVID-19 vaccines cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

How much will I have to pay?

The government will provide the vaccine for free. You do not need to pay for anything to be vaccinated.

When and where will I get vaccinated?

The national government is working in partnership with our local governments to get the vaccines to you. Your local government unit will arrange for the registration and scheduling of vaccination.

Please wait for specific instructions and announcements from your mayor or governor.

What to do before getting vaccinated?

Informed Consent

While we wait for the vaccines to arrive, make sure you obtain accurate information only from the right sources. Ask only licensed medical professionals so that you are correctly advised regarding COVID-19 vaccination. Verify things you may have read or heard. It is only when you are armed with the right information can you rightfully decide yourself if you will be vaccinated.


Your health history will be crucial in determining whether you should get vaccinated or what vaccines are appropriate for you. It is therefore important that you take the health screening seriously.

Show up on the day of your screening and declare your complete medical history (e.g. allergies, risky behavior). The health care professional will only be able to assess you correctly if you provide the correct information. If you did not undergo screening, you will not be booked or scheduled for vaccination.

How to continuously protect me and my family?

Since it takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination, you are only protected until a week or two after your second shot.  Even then, vaccines are just one of the many tools for us to stop the pandemic.

We all need to continue wearing masks, staying at least 1 meter away from others, avoiding crowds, and washing hands often to protect ourselves and our family.

Authenticity and Cold Chain

Finally, know that only COVID-19 vaccines certified to be authentic and are transported under strict cold chain conditions are able to provide full protection for those who are vaccinated.

Vaccines are biological products and are sensitive – Counterfeit vaccines can jeopardize your health and safety; so can vaccines that have been transported in temperatures that are too hot or too cold.

So make sure you access your vaccines from trusted and legitimate sources who can assure you that the vaccines are produced by the real manufacturers and that it is kept at the right temperature all the way from the manufacturing plant to your arms.

Ivermectin can cause brain damage or death if taken in high dosage – expert

By Jhon Aldrin Casinas

Taking Ivermectin in high doses could lead to people suffering from brain damage and even death, an infectious disease expert said Tuesday, April 6.

Dr. Edsel Salvana, a member of the Department of Health (DOH) Technical Advisory group, said Ivermectin has been widely used as an anti-parasitic drug for animals in the country.

However, the medical expert issued a warning against taking the anti-parasitic drug in high doses, especially on humans.

FDA Warns Against Using Ivermectin to Treat COVID-19

By Marcia Frellick

March 9, 2021 — The FDA is warning consumers not to use the antiparasitic drug ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19.

The agency says it issued the guidance Friday because of growing interest in the drug as a COVID-19 treatment and multiple reports of patients hospitalized or needing medical support “after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for horses.”

The FDA has not approved Ivermectin, which is not an antiviral, for treating or preventing COVID-19.

AstraZeneca says vaccine 80% effective for elderly, no blood clot risk

By: GMA News Online

WASHINGTON — AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine is 80-percent effective at preventing the disease in the elderly and does not increase the risk of blood clots, the biotech firm said Monday, following its US phase III efficiency trials.

It was 79-percent effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in the overall population and 100-percent effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalization, it said.

Children have stronger antibody response to COVID-19 —US study

By: GMA News Online

WASHINGTON – Children who are 10 and younger produce more antibodies in response to coronavirus infection than adolescents and adults, a study showed Monday.

The authors of the paper, which appeared in JAMA Network Open, said the finding helped illuminate why children are less susceptible to severe COVID-19 than adults — though this is still an area of very active research and many factors are believed to be at play.