A healthcare worker from Oriental Mindoro who recently received a Sinovac dose is closely being monitored by the Department of Health (DOH) after reportedly experiencing “serious” side effects, the regional health office said Wednesday.

The 59-year-old female employee of Oriental Mindoro Provincial Hospital (OMPH) reportedly suffered from hypertension, vomiting, seizure, and was unconscious for about five hours after her vaccination last March 10.

Her case has been logged by the DOH as an “Adverse Event Following Immunization” or AEFI case. The regional office however also classified it as an “isolated case.”

The female employee, who had been diagnosed as “positive for COVID-19 for more than 90 days” has a history of hypertension, according to the press statement issued on Thursday by the DOH Center for Health Development in MIMAROPA. She was already considered as “recovered” when she received the vaccine dose.

Dr. Mario Baquilod, CHD MIMAROPA regional director, said the vaccine recipient is currently under “management and monitoring” by  local health authorities.

“Out of 1,747 individual vaccinated as of yesterday in MIMAROPA, isa lang siya sa nagkaroon ng serious AEFI and we consider this as an isolated case. This reaction is very rare, but do occasionally happen in people with comorbidity. I would like to reiterate to our vaccinators to intensify patients’ assessment and screening prior to vaccination to ensure that they are qualified for the vaccine,” Baquilod emphasized.

The DOH CHD MIMAROPA said the case was reported to the DOH Epidemiology Bureau and is currently running a case management and investigation to identify the causality between the vaccine and the adverse event. Furthermore, DOH CHD MIMAROPA called on the Regional AEFI Committee for assessment of such occurrence.

Baquilod assured that the Coronavac vaccine, developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech Ltd., is “safe and can provide effective protection” against the preventable disease.

“The CHD MIMAROPA still recommends to continue the vaccination of Sinovac with clinically healthy and 18 to 59 years old individuals to achieve protection needed by health workers and the community on the fight against COVID-19,” Baquilod added.

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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.