Amid the threat of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant Omicron, National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 Special Medical Adviser Dr. Ted Herbosa urged the public Sunday, Nov. 28, to get vaccinated, saying that the vaccines remain effective in protecting oneself against the severe form of the disease.
He made the statement amid concerns on Omicron variant, which was first detected in South Africa and is also known as the B.1.1.529 strain.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Omicron as a “variant of concern” as it is more transmissible than the Delta variant.
Herbosa said that it is too early to conclude if the available vaccines are ineffective against the new Omicron variant.
“In the meantime, ang irerekomenda ko ay magpabakuna pa rin lahat… the same virus ‘yan, variant lang. Kung mayroon kang antibody, proteksyon, [o] immunity against SARS-COV-2, kahit ano pang variant ‘yan, malamang ay may kaunti kang proteksyon, hindi ka mamamatay, [o] maa-ICU [Intensive Care Unit] (In the meantime i’m recommending everyone to get vaccinated… this is the same virus, just a different variant. If one has the antibody, protection, or immunity against SARS-COV-2, whatever variant that may be, you will still have the protection, you wouldn’t die, or be admitted in the ICU),” Herbosa said in an interview over DZBB on Sunday.
A variant of concern is a strain of COVID-19 that is associated with any of the following global health significance: increase in transmissibility, increase in virulence, and decrease in the effectiveness of public health and social measures.
Currently, the WHO has only tagged five COVID-19 variants under this category. These are Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron. (Charie Mae F. Abarca)