DOH reminds public: Fully-vaccinated people can still get COVID-19

Published November 11, 2021, 2:47 PM

by Analou de Vera

Some people in Divisoria, Manila are no longer wearing face shield on Nov. 8, 2021, the same day the City of Manila scrapped the face shield policy except in hospital and other medical facilities. (Photo by Noel B. Pabalate)

The Department of Health (DOH) reminded the public that individuals can still catch the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) even when they were already fully vaccinated.

“Vaccination provides us with additional protection from severe COVID-19, so with a high vaccination rate, we are more likely to decongest hospitals. However, being fully-vaccinated does not mean zero transmission. Even if we are fully-vaccinated, we can still get infected and infect others with COVID-19,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Thursday, Nov. 11.

Vergeire stressed this is not the right time to be complacent.

“We would like to remind the public that COVID-19 is still here. We cannot set aside the risk of cases increasing when mobility increases and compliance to safety protocols decreases,” she said.

Despite the decreasing number of COVID-19 infections nationwide, Vergeire said that Metro Manila and other regions in the Philippines remain “vulnerable to forward transmission of COVID-19,” because of the “permeable nature of areas in the country combined with inter-zonal work assignments.”

“We remind everyone to be mindful and considerate of other regions, especially with the need to increase our vaccine coverage nationally among senior citizens and those with underlying conditions,” said Vergeire.

“As of now, we have fully vaccinated 4.9 million senior citizens and 7.6 million persons with underlying conditions. Let us work together to help the country recover as one,” she added.

Vergeire made the statement in response to the remarks of Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion about vaccinated individuals during a media forum hosted by the Octa Research Group on Thursday.

“Let’s take a more aggressive role in really vaccinating our citizens, especially in the provincial areas. And if we are able to do that, then if cases do go up—but who cares if cases do go up? provided those that are being infected are fully vaccinated because it will prevent hospitalization. And that is very clear,” said Concepcion.

“When we say ‘cases are going up to 1,000 to 2,000 let’s lockdown’–let’s hold back, who are those getting infected? If it is the unvaccinated, yes, then we should be concerned. But if it is the vaccinated that are getting infected, then let’s not be concerned about it. Of course, there may be some risk that they may land in the hospital— but a greater percentage, 70 to 80 percent of them, will just get well at home,” he added.