The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday (July 14) said all approved vaccines still provide protection against variants of concern despite their reported reduced efficacy.
FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said COVID-19 vaccines are not used for COVID-19 treatment, but as an additional protection to prevent hospitalization due to severe and critical illness.
“Nababawasan ang pagkaka-COVID ‘pag nabakunahan, pero walang 100% effective. There’s a chance na magka-COVID, pero ang gusto natin mild at hindi maospital,” Domingo said in the July 14 Laging Handa briefing.
Recent reports showed that there has been an increase of COVID-19 Delta variant cases in Indonesia, and among the infected were some who were already vaccinated.
“Although may reduced efficacy of 10% to 20% … Mayroon pa ring proteksyon na maibibigay… ‘Yung real world effectiveness niya ay maganda naman,” Domingo said.
The official added that there is no sufficient evidence yet to prove that booster shots of Western vaccines can increase the protection of those initially vaccinated with Sinovac and Sinopharm.
In the Philippines, more than three million individuals are fully vaccinated and around 10 million individuals are to receive their second dose.
Malacañang said the country continues to expand its healthcare capacity and border control measures to guard against more contagious variants entering the country. – Report from Naomi Tiburcio/AG-jlo
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Three new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) variants that could threaten the country are being monitored by the Department of Health (DoH).
Sulu placed under lockdown vs. entry of Sabah strain
The strains were first detected in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Malaysia, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
“The three variants are already being monitored as it (the virus) reflects signature mutations in the spike region of the virus, as has been studied in affected countries,” Vergeire told reporters in a text message.
The UK and South African strains are said to be more transmissible, while it is still unknown if the Malaysian strain — first found in Sabah — is more contagious.
Sulu, which is about a day and a half by boat from Sabah, is already under a hard lockdown as a deterrent against the Malaysian strain.