The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) assured the public Saturday, July 31, that its Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) and other experts group are keenly monitoring and conducting research on all the variants of the COVID-19 virus in the country.
This was assured by DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, who leads the Task Group on Vaccine Evaluation and Selection (TG-VES), following reports that the Delta Variant of the coronavirus spreads as easily as chickenpox.
“The VEP is studying all the variants, together with the other experts group,” she told the Manila Bulletin in a Viber message on Saturday, July 31.
Quoting the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), international reports said the Delta variant is as highly contagious as chickenpox and is likely more severe than other variants and could cause severe diseases.
Guevara said amid threat from the more transmissible Delta variant, she cited the need to intensify the ongoing vaccination efforts, and that the public should strictly observe minimum public health precautions.
“Vaccination and practicing minimum health standards are key to the containment of the spread,” she said.
The VEP, headed by Dr. Nina Gloriani, has been urging all eligible Filipinos to get vaccinated against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Through vaccination, you can help prevent the spread of the virus. There is also new evidence suggesting that vaccinated people who might be infected have fewer virus particles in their nose and mouth. This means that the chances of the virus spreading are limited especially to those with increased risk for severe illness,” Gloriani said.
“By getting vaccinated, not only do you help contain the virus but also prevent it from replicating into several mutations which can be more resistant to the vaccines currently available,” she added.
The VEP head maintained that the practice of minimum public health precautions “remains key to stopping virus transmission and thereby virus mutation.”