NTF adviser weighs in on proposal allowing lesser restrictions for vaccinated

Published September 10, 2021, 7:31 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

If the government will ease quarantine restrictions for vaccinated people, it should also permit individuals who have recovered from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to do more non-essential activities since they have “natural immunity.”

Dr. Ted Herbosa, special adviser of National Task Force Against COVID-19, speaks during the arrival of 1.5 million doses of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccine at NAIA in Pasay City on Sept. 10, 2021. (Photo by NTF Against COVID-19)

This was the proposal made by Dr. Ted Herbosa, special adviser of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19), on Friday night, Sept. 10, as he urged the government and economic leaders to carefully evaluate the proposal that eases the restrictions for vaccinated people.

“Dapat kung gagawa sila ng ganoong policy, pati ang nagka-COVID o nag-positive pwede mo isama sa freer movement kasi may antibodies na siya. Natural pa ‘yong kanya and it’s proven sa Israel, mas malaki ang immunity ng natural infection (If they will make such policy, even the [recovered] COVID-patients shall be allowed freer movement becase they have antibodies. They have natural [antibodies]and it’s proven in Israel that natural infection provides bigger immunity),” Herbos said during the arrival of 1.5 million doses of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccine.

The NTF special adviser said an individual who recovered from COVID-19 produces antibodies that “offer stronger immunity than the ones offered by the vaccines.”

“Hindi lang vaccinated ang may (It’s not only vaccinated individuals who have) protection, even the people that have the previous infection have a natural immunity. If you got COVID, you also develop antibodies. It doesn’t mean na bakunado lang ang protektado (that the vaccinated are the only ones protected),” he explained.

The government is studying the proposal of Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion to ease the restrictions on vaccinated people so they are allowed to do more activities

The move is seen as one of the solutions to help the economy stay afloat amid the devastating effects of lockdown.

Meanwhile, the latest delivery of government-procured Sinovac jabs brought the total supply to 54,794,130 doses. It includes 31 million doses of Sinovac.

Airport personnel transfer a shipment containing 1.5 million doses of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccine to a freezer after it arrived at NAIA in Pasay City on Sept. 10, 2021. (Photo by NTF Against COVID-19)

The vaccines were transported from Beijing via Philippine Airlines flight PR359. The plane landed on Terminal 2 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City around 6 p.m.

Earlier in the day, 502,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine were also delivered to the country.

The Sinovac vaccines will be allocated in regions outside the National Capital Region (NCR) so they can also speed up their inoculation program, Herbosa said.

“Mataas na ang rate natin (We have a high [vaccination] rate here). We are 52 percent fully vaccinated in the NCR and 80 pecent partially vaccinated,” he disclosed.

“These will help us a lot kasi dumadami ang cases pero ang case fatality rate pababa. From 1.7 nasa 1.61 na lang so mukhang umeepekto talaga ang bakuna. What we want to do is bilisan pa ang pagbabakuna (These [vaccines] will help us a lot because we have surging cases but the case fatality rate is decreasing. From 1.7, it went down to 1.61 so it seems the vaccines are really working. What we want to do is to further speedup the vaccination program),” he added.