Fully vaccinated Filipinos still need to wear masks, observe physical distancing – expert

Published May 10, 2021, 2:29 PM

by Gabriela Baron

Fully vaccinated Filipinos will still need to wear masks and observe physical distancing, an expert said on Monday, May 10.

Dr. Lulu Bravo, Executive Director of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination, said in an interview with DZBB reminded those who completed their vaccination to still follow minimum health protocols such as wearing face masks and face shields, hand-washing, and observing at least one meter distance.


“Ang ating pagbabakuna ay nagsisimula pa lang, hindi pa natin kayang abutin yung nagawa ng Israel na 80 percent ng kanilang population. Ang problema kasi hindi pa tayo nakakarating sa ganung kadaming nabakunahan, so marami pa rin sa atin ang pwedeng maka-transmit ng infection (Our vaccination is just starting, we haven’t able to reach what Israel has achieved, with 80 percent of its population getting inoculated. The problem is that we haven’t yet reached that many vaccinated, so many of us can still transmit the infection),” Bravo said.

“Kasi merong mga variant na dumarating, kung hindi pa ganun kadami ang nabakunahan, pwede mo pa ring makuha ang variant (Because there are variants coming, if not that many have been vaccinated, we can still get the variant),” she added.

Outdoor mask-wearing no longer required in Israel after vaccinating a majority of its population.

Aside from Israel, the United States Centers for Disease and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated Americans do not need to wear a mask when they are outdoors.

“Yung variant, even if bakunado, di pa natin sigurado ay yun ay tinatalaban ng bakuna. Sa ngayon, at least 1 in 10 na kumakalat ay variant, at hindi tayo sigurado na yung bakuna ay effective dun sa variant na yun (The variants, even if we’re vaccinated, we are still not sure if the vaccine will work against them. So far, at least 1 in 10 cases are variants, and we’re still not sure that the vaccine is effective against that variant),” Bravo noted.

A recent research from Pfizer looked at 44,000 people around the world — including those in South Africa who were predominantly exposed to the B.1.351 variant (South African variant) — and found that the vaccine remained 100 percent effective against severe disease and death.

Real-world data also found that the Pfizer vaccine held up against the B.1.1.7 (UK variant). The shot was 97 percent effective against symptomatic COVID-19, hospitalizations, and death.

Evidence showed that the same is true with the Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

The government is eyeing to inoculate 70 million Filipinos, or around 70 percent of the country’s total population, for the Philippines to achieve herd immunity.

Over two million of AstraZeneca vaccines were delivered to the country by the COVAX Facility on Saturday, May 8, which brought the total supply to 7,571,000 vaccine doses composed of Coronavac from Sinovac Biotech of China, AstraZeneca, and Sputnik V from Gamaleya Research Institute of Russia.

Meanwhile, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 on Sunday, May 9, confirmed that 193,050 doses of Pfizer vaccines will arrive in the country on Monday.

More than two million doses have been administered as of May 4, according to the Department of Health.