The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Friday, August 13, that only a small fraction of fully-vaccinated individuals have contracted COVID-19.
In a press briefing, FDA chief Eric Domingo said that only 116 people got the virus more than 14 days after their second dose, including an elderly man who died despite being fully vaccinated with Sinovac.
This was why the FDA said that COVID-19 vaccination outweighed the risks.
In summary, the FDA recorded a total of 735 infections among vaccinated individuals who either received their first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We have to put this into perspective, these 735 vaccinated and 65 fatalities are out of 11 million vaccinated in the past 6 months,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.
The FDA chief presented the agency’s latest data available which was as of August 1. At that time, a total of 20.8 million doses have been administered – 11.7M were partially vaccinated, while 9.1 million individuals were fully vaccinated.
The 9.1 million fully vaccinated individuals, however, is just 13% of the target eligible population, or 8% of the country’s total population.
“Breakthrough infection cases can still occur in small percentage of fully vaccinated individuals but less severe,” he said.
Breakthrough infection happens when a fully vaccinated individual still contracts COVID-19.
While the vaccines offer protection against COVID-19, none of them prevents contracting the illness 100% of the time. (READ: Part 1 | What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers)
There are other factors that might contribute to the occurrence of breakthrough infections. The United States Centers for Disease Control is looking at trends in age, sex, the vaccines involved, underlying health conditions, and COVID-19 variants to identify unusual patterns that might explain why the infections happened.
“There will always be breakthrough cases. Not only with COVID-19 vaccines, but with vaccines on other diseases as well,” Domingo said in a mix of English and Filipino.
COVID-19 vaccines – regardless of their brand – work against hospitalization and even death, but vaccinated individuals can still be infected with the virus. This is why health experts are advising vaccinated individuals to still practice minimum public health standards as majority of the Philippine population have not yet been vaccinated. – Rappler.com