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Boquete vaccinations start this Wednesday


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From a local bi-lingual expat:

Notes from Talking with your doctor radio program with Dra. Shannon Tuer and guests Al Stefanelli and Dr. William Tuer, on Radio Chiriqui, Saturday May 22, 2021.
 
There has been a large increase in the number of COVID cases in Chiriquí.  For this reason, the government has established checkpoints with mandatory nasal swab testing at Divisa, Gualaca, the David airport, and at the Costa Rica border.   As it takes 20 minutes to process the swab sample, expect travel delays.
 
Vaccination in the Boquete area will be held from Wednesday May 26 to Saturday May 29 for people aged 60 and over, teachers, and pregnant women, at the schools in Bajo Boquete (Josefa Montero de Vásquez, near the Super Barú), Alto Boquete, Jaramillo  Arriba, Los Naranjos, Palmira, El Francés, and Caldera.  Clinic start times have been listed as either 7 or 8 a.m. and will end at 5 p.m. (or the when vaccine supply runs out for the day).
 
The vaccination centers will have 2 lines:  one for people already registered on the Panama Solidario website, and another for those who are unregistered.  The latter will be registered on-site.
 
The Panama Solidario website will not be posting personal appointments with a specific day/time.  Vaccination will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
 
The Pfizer vaccine is exactly the same as that administered in the U.S.  The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine will be administered 4 weeks after the first dose.  Studies have shown that it's okay to administer the second dose even beyond 4 weeks.  The logistics of distributing the vaccine are complicated; Panama has contracted to have enough doses to cover 90% of its population.  This spacing of the second dose will help with distribution.
 
Contraindications for the vaccine:
Allergic reactions to previously received vaccines, including hives, swollen tongue or throat, wheezing.  These reactions occur less than 1 hour after vaccination.  These reactions do NOT include fever, chills, body aches and sore arm, which are normal side effects.
 
If you have an allergic reaction after the first dose, contact your doctor immediately.
 
The AstraZeneca/Oxford (AZ) vaccine is meant for women over 50 and men over 30.  If this vaccine is offered and you're taking medications for clotting or blood thinners, the risk is still very low; talk to your doctor and do not rely on social media such as Facebook.  It's effective (76% effective after first dose and 82-90% after second dose); the European Union Medical Commission has confirmed that the benefits of the AZ vaccine far outweigh the risks.  Out of 20 million vaccinations, there were 7 reported cases of blood clotting.
 
To receive the AZ vaccine, you need to register on the Panamá Solidario website, using the "Citas Web" link.  AZ vaccines will be administered at the fair grounds in David, not at the schools.
 
Overall, the vaccines are safe.
 
Suggestions for preparing to receive the vaccine:
 
1)  Show up with your ID.  Besides bringing your ecédula (C.I.P. or carné) or visa, also bring your passport. 
2)  Eat a light breakfast and make sure you're hydrated.
3)  Take your normal medications for the day.
4)  Avoid drinking alcohol the night before and the day of your vaccination.
5)  Bring a stool or fold-up chair (availble at PriceSmart), as well as bottled water and snacks.
6)  Get to the vaccination site early.
7)  Don't take Tylenol or ibuprofen before getting the vaccine.
😎 If you're diabetic and waiting in line, bring juice, life savers/glucose.  Come prepared.
9)   Thank the nurses who attend you.  They have received months of special training, are taking care of complicated set-ups, preparing the vials, and they work long hours.
 
After vaccination:
 
1)  Wait 15-20 minutes after vaccination to check for allergic reactions, such as trouble breathing, swelling of tongue or throat.
2)  Don't expect to feel anything right away, except maybe a sore arm.  If your arm is sore, use an ice pack or heat on the injection site.  Tylenol or ibuprofen can help with fever and chills.   Some people have no symptoms at all - this doesn't mean that the vaccine isn't effective.  Younger people tend to have more symptoms than older people.
3)  It's okay to take cortisone if you're already being treated with it.
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