An infectious disease specialist assured the public that all available coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines in the Philippines remain effective against the more transmissible Delta variant.
According to studies, the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) first identified in India is 60 percent more transmissible than the Alpha variant (B.188.8.131.52) first reported in the United Kingdom.
During the Laging Handa briefing on Wednesday, June 23, Dr. Karl Henson of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases said the soon Filipinos get inoculated against the virus, “the better.”
“Even if you get sick with COVID, but have been fully vaccinated and at least two weeks from your second dose, you are protected from severe infection and death,” Henson said in Filipino.
“The data from the United Kingdom shows that the efficacy of the vaccines against the Delta variant is lower, but it’s almost as effective in preventing severe disease,” he added.
Henson said that most of the 308 health workers vaccinated with Sinovac’s Coronavac in Indonesia who still contracted COVID-19 only experienced mild symptoms.
“It looks like that’s the trend we’re seeing. Vaccines will protect against severe disease caused by the Delta variant.”
The expert said people might need vaccine booster shots, especially with the emergence of new variants, but noted evidence on its necessity has yet to be released.
On June 21, the Department of Health (DOH) detected four more cases of Delta variant, pushing the total to 17 cases.