The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that only 242 fully vaccinated individuals against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country experienced “breakthrough infections” out of millions of Filipinos who completed the regimen.
FDA Director-General Rolando Enrique Domingo said that the figure is only equivalent to 0.0017 percent of the 13.8 million Filipinos fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Aug. 29.
“We can say that the benefits of the vaccination outweigh the risks and the vaccines are effective and critical to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Domingo in a press briefing on Thursday, Sept. 9.
Domingo defined breakthrough infection as “detection of the disease in a person more than 14 days after completion of all the recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccines.”
FDA data showed that 180 out of the 6.86 million people vaccinated with Sinovac contracted COVID-19. Of the 180 breakthrough cases, four died. Meanwhile, 11 out of the 3.56 million who received the single-shot Janssen vaccine caught the viral illness. Of the 11, one died.
The five deaths involved senior citizens and some of them have comorbidities, said the FDA chief.
Forty-seven people of the 2.03 million who received AstraZeneca vaccines were infected with COVID-19, while four people out of 1.23 million who were vaccinated with Pfizer vaccine got breakthrough infection.
There was no record of breakthrough infections among people inoculated with Sputnik V, Moderna, and Sinopharm vaccines, said Domingo.
“Breakthrough infections can still occur in a small percentage of fully vaccinated individuals,” he said.
The FDA chief also reported that out of 9.22 million individuals who were partially vaccinated as of Aug. 29, a total of 732 people got COVID-19, including 86 deaths.
Meanwhile, 98 people contracted COVID-19 “within 14 days” after receiving their last dose. Of the 98 cases, five died.
Despite this, Domingo urged the vaccinated individuals to “complete the recommended doses” of COVID-19 vaccines.
“Observe health protocols, maximum protection sets in two weeks after the second shot,” said Domingo.
“Magpabakuna po tayo kapag tayo ay eligible na upang maprotektahan natin ang ating sarili at pamilya laban sa COVID-19. Itong datos na nakalap ng FDA ay nagpapakita na safe at effective po ang ating mga bakunang may Emergency Use Authorization (Let’s get vaccinated when we are eligible so that we can protect ourselves and our families against COVID-19. This data gathered by the FDA shows that vaccines with Emergency Use Authorization are safe and effective),” he added.