Navotas’ 100-Year-Old ‘Superwoman’ Breezes Through COVID-19 Vaccination
Herminia Naval is excited to go to the mall and spend more time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren after getting fully vaccinated, according to her daughter.
Just when the local government of Navotas was finding it difficult to convince senior residents to be inoculated against COVID-19, a centenarian braved the process to become an inspiration to the elderly in the city to avail of the vaccines.
Herminia Naval – who was born on Oct. 19, 1920 – was fetched by her daughter Cecie to get the jab last May 13 at the Daanghari Elementary School.
At the site, the vaccinators gave deference to her age - 100 years old - and injected her AstraZeneca jab while she stayed inside the vehicle.
She did not feel even a pinch when she was vaccinated, Herminia’s daughter Cecie told The Philippine STAR / OneNews.PH in a phone interview last May 20.
Cecie said her mother asked when she would be inoculated as the local government staff who attended to her left after giving her a shot in the arm.
“Akala niya, hindi pa tapos. Kaya noong umalis na ‘yung staff, sabi niya, ‘O, kailan ba ako babakunahan?’ Sabi ko, ‘Lola, tapos na,’” Cecie said, laughing.
The city government has problems convincing more senior citizens to get their vaccines.
The city aims to vaccinate 31,185 registered elderly residents in the city. As of June 7, only 10,614 senior citizens had received their first doses while 4,217 completed their second doses.
The city has a long way to go before it could fully protect its elderly due to hesitancy. But the centenarian's vaccination somehow helped convince more seniors to be inoculated, Mayor Toby Tiangco said.
“(Because of the centenarians’ vaccination), little by little, they (senior citizens) are being convinced,” Tiangco disclosed in an online interview on Wednesday, June 9.
“(It’s) human nature. When people get older, they are more conservative, they adapt slower to change,” Tiangco said.
But for Herminia, fears over the vaccines – and the adverse effects they might cause – did not stop her from volunteering to get the jab.
According to Cecie, she made her mother watch news about the vaccination drive so she would be updated on a daily basis. This was also her way to instill in her that vaccination is the way to put an end to the pandemic.
“Everyday, pinapapanood ko siya ng news para updated siya,” Cecie said, adding mental conditioning was important.
“So sabi ko, ‘Lola, vaccine tayo.’ Oo daw. Malakas loob niya,” Cecie bared.
Cecie said her mother has a sharp mind, and even a good appetite, at her age.
Herminia’s willingness to get vaccinated also stemmed from her confidence that her children know what’s best for her, the daughter explained.
“Kaya siguro OK lang sa kaniyang magpa-vaccine. Sabi ko lang, ‘Lola ha, magpapa-vaccine tayo ha.’ ‘O sige, kailan?’” Cecie quoted her mother as saying.
“Gan’on lang. Napakawalang excitement. Siguro OK lang siya kasi alam niyang inaalagaan namin siya at ‘yun ang makakabuti sa kaniya,” Cecie shared.
The centenerian even got to beat her grandchildren and children who after receiving their jabs and experienced some adverse reactions, Cecie said.
This is why they call Herminia a “superwoman,” Cecie added.
“Sa vaccine…I was expecting medyo sasakit ‘yung pinagtusukan. Sa kaniya, wala. Natalo niya kami,” said Cecie, who also got her AstraZeneca jab and experienced mild pain at the injection site.
Their family is glad that the city government continues to disclose the vaccine brand despite a call from Malacañang, the Department of Health and Department of the Interior and Local Government to be “brand agnostic” to prevent crowding over preferred vaccines.
Her family had wanted the AstraZeneca jab for the centenarian.
“It is the right of citizen to know ano’ng brand ‘yung isasaksak,” Cecie said.
Asked what Herminia looks forward to the most after getting fully vaccinated with her second dose, Cecie said her mother is excited about going to the mall, and spending more time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Herminia has 90 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Cecie said.
Cecie believes that those who are most vulnerable to the disease such as the elderly should get vaccinated before it’s too late.
Cecie said her mother possibly got convinced to avail of the jab as she learned about the increase in cases.
“Nakikita niyang nadadagdagan (ang mga kaso), kaya siguro she was willing to be vaccinated,” Cecie added.
Senior citizens belong to the A2 priority group in the government’s vaccination program. Those in the A1 category are healthcare workers.