MANILA, Philippines – An official from the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) on Wednesday urged individuals with hypertension and cardiovascular diseases to getting immunized against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
During the Laging Handa press briefing, PHA president Dr. Orly Bugarin said there is currently no evidence to show that COVID-19 vaccines are harmful to persons with hypertension and heart diseases.
“Sa ngayon, wala pa matibay na ebidensiya na nagsasabing ang pagpapabakuna laban sa COVID-19 ay may masamang epekto sa mga pasyente o mga may high blood,” he said.
“Talagang ini-encourage pa rin naming ang ating mga kababayan na pwede kayong magpabakuna kahit kayo ay may hypertension o mga tinatawag na cardiovascular diseases,” he added.
Health experts, however, advised people with hypertension or heart diseases to prepare themselves a few weeks before getting a COVID-19 jab.
Bugarin said patients should make sure to take their regular medicines at least two weeks before getting administered with the vaccine.
He explained that some patients may experience high blood pressure before they get vaccinated due to nervousness.
“Ang nakikita lang po naming epekto [ng vaccine] siguro is yung nerbiyos nila, kinakabahan po sila bago magpabakuna o kaya hindi po sila compliant, hindi umiinom ng gamot kaya po tumataas ang kanilang blood pressure,” he said.
Patients who have a blood pressure of 180/120 and are exhibiting symptoms of their heart conditions should be examined prior to vaccination, Bugarin said.
In the same briefing, Dr. Alejandro Diaz, a neurologist from St. Luke’s Medical Center, also advised patients to bring with them their medicines just in case their blood pressure shoots up on the day of their vaccination.
“Usually two to four weeks [before vaccination], sinisiguro nila na tini-take ang medications to see to it na ang blood pressure nila ay nasa 130/80 and below, para controlled. On the day of vaccination, dapat may baon rin silang gamot,” Diaz said.
“Kapag ang blood pressure is 180/120 and above, teka muna. Hindi ka muna lalagyan [ng bakuna] paiinumin ka ng gamot, relax ka muna pero hindi ka dapat pauuwiin,” he added.
Diaz also advised patients to refrain from drinking coffee, smoking, taking pain relievers and medicines for colds before their vaccination to manage their blood pressure.
“Iwasan uminom ng para sa sipon, mga cold remedies kasi yung cold remedies, pwedeng magpataas ng blood pressure. Iwasang magkape during that morning na magpapabakuna kayo,” he said.
“Iwasan niyong mag-take ng pain relievers. Siguraduihin ninyong bago kayo magpakuha ng blood pressure before your vaccination, naka-jingle na kayo o nakapag-CR muna kayo, dahil kung puno ang pantog niyo ay tataas din ang blood pressure niyo,” he added.
Persons with co-morbidities belong to the A3 sector of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination priority list.
The national government said that as of April 13, a total of 1,052,624 Filipinos have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine while 151,059 were already administered with the second dose.