Amid the significant developments on COVID-19 vaccines, the Department of Health (DOH) reminded the public not to be complacent in adhering to health protocols as the risk of contracting the disease is “still high.”
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said that the country’s fight against the pandemic is not yet over.
“We cannot relax because of the news of vaccines. We still have to sustain strong health measures even when the immunization against COVID-19 in our country begins. Otherwise, we might undo all the progress we’ve made over the past months,” said Duque.
“The vaccine alone is not the solution to this crisis. Your cooperation, all the same, is greatly needed to win this fight against the pandemic,” he added.
Two vaccine developers from China—Sinovac Biotech and the Clover Biopharmaceuticals—already passed the evaluation of the Vaccine Experts Panel of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the review of the Single Joint Review Ethics Board (SJREB).
However, they still need the nod of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they could begin the clinical trials of their COVID-19 candidate vaccines in the Philippines.
In the international scene, the United Kingdom on Dec. 8 already started its mass vaccination program against the COVID-19.
The country’s coronavirus tally surpassed the 445,000-mark, after the DOH reported 1,383 new infections.
The total number of confirmed cases stood at 445,540, of which, 27,781 are still undergoing treatment or active cases.
Quezon City recorded the highest number of newly announced cases with 83. Laguna followed with 75, City of Manila with 68, Bulacan with 65, and Davao City with 61.
The latest case bulletin also showed that 133 more survivors, while 24 more died. These pushed the tally of recoveries to 409,058 and the death count 8,701 fatalities.
“Despite the observed downtrend in COVID-19 cases in the country recently, these figures are impermanent and its retention will depend on the decisions and actions of the people, particularly during the holiday season,” said Duque.
“Kaya po walang-tigil din naming pinapaalala sa ating mga kababayan na manatiling maingat at alisto, at isaisip ang ating mga health protocols. Gawin po nating prayoridad ang ating kalusugan para na rin sa ikabubuti natin at ang ating mga pamilyang inuuwian,” he added.
(That is why we also constantly remind our countrymen to remain careful and alert, and keep in mind our health protocols. Let us make our health a priority for our own good and for our families.)