MANILA – A vaccine expert on Wednesday renewed the call for the public to get vaccinated saying all available Covid-19 vaccines remain highly effective at preventing severe illness and death.
Speaking at a televised public briefing, Vaccine Expert Panel member Dr. Rontgene Solante urged the public to roll up their sleeves when it is their turn to get vaccinated as Covid-19 infections continue to rise driven by the highly contagious Delta variant.
Citing latest data, Solante noted that 80 percent of Covid-19 cases admitted in hospitals were unvaccinated.
“'Yung mga nasa ICU ngayon na severe, critical mas higher ang percentage ng walang bakuna kumpara doon sa may bakuna (Those who are admitted in the ICU with severe [symptoms], [in] critical [condition] higher percentage among them are unvaccinated compared to the vaccinated,” he said.
Health experts said vaccines are not a shield against the coronavirus and its variants but while there are breakthrough infections, vaccines, regardless of brand, have maintained their efficacy to provide protection against fatal infections.
Health authorities said breakthrough infections should not be taken to mean that the vaccines do not work. Although uncommon, even vaccinated people can still contract the coronavirus.
Solante advised the public not to choose or wait for the availability of their preferred vaccine brand before registering for inoculation.
“Marami na tayong mga pasyente ngayon na sa kahihintay ng pinipiling bakuna, nagka-Covid, na-admit, naging severe (Many individuals have now contracted Covid-19, admitted as severe cases [in hospitals] because they’re waiting for a certain vaccine brand)," he said.
“Kunin na natin kung ano mang bakuna ang bibigay sa gobyerno, io-offer sa inyo. Magpabakuna na po tayo kasi ito po ay ligtas (Let’s accept whichever vaccine the government offers. Let’s get vaccinated because this is safe) and you will be protected against severe infection,” he added.
Vaccines are safe
The administration of Covid-19 vaccine allows the body to produce antibodies, providing protection against severe illnesses, Solante said.
However, the adverse reactions after inoculation are the body’s common reaction to the vaccine.
Solante debunked posts circulating on social media claiming that Covid-19 jabs contain genetically modified organisms and aborted cells which can change the recipient’s body.
“Itong mga sinasabi nilang genetic material, wala po talagang katotohanan iyan na makaapekto sa katawan ng mga tao (These genetic materials they’re saying, it’s not true that they can affect a person’s body),” Solante said.
He added that the growing number of the so-called anti-vaxxers disseminating such disinformation online is normal since many Filipinos are getting their Covid-19 shots -- an indication of vaccine confidence among the population. (PNA)