Health expert says face shields must remain until 80% of Filipinos have been vaccinated

Published June 5, 2021, 1:27 PM

by Gabriela Baron

A public health expert said on Saturday, June 5, that wearing of face shields must remain until 80 percent of Filipinos have been vaccinated against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).


Dr. Benito Atienza, president of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), said the use of face shields will help prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

“Isa sa mga tanong kung nabakunahan ka na magtatagal ka na [ng face shield]. Hindi pa rin po, kailangan po kasi 80 percent ng ating populasyon ang mabigyan muna ng bakuna bago tayo mag-alis ng face shield (One of the questions we’ve been getting is if they should scrap wearing of face shields once they have been vaccinated. No, we need to vaccinate 80 percent of our population first),” Atienza reiterated.

“Kasi kahit tayo’y may bakuna na hindi pa rin tayo nakakasigurado, pwedeng tayong mahawa ng ibang variant. Napakaaga, wag muna tayong mag-relax (Because even if we’ve been vaccinated already, we still can get infected with other variants. It’s too early, let’s not relax yet),” he added.

The physician noted that face shields block additional droplets from reaching the eyes.

The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday maintained that the use of face shields “serves as an added protection against COVID-19.”

Last week, Manila Mayor Franscisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso urged the national government to reconsider its policy on mandatory wearing of face shields.

He cited several factors that have to be considered in the imposition of face shield policy such as the cost it will entail the public, its health implications for those with respiratory illnesses, the environmental impact of plastic wastes, and safety issues.

In December, the national government started requiring the public to wear face shields on top of face masks when going outside of their residences.