Bivalent vaccines effective vs Omicron subvariant BF.7—health expert

Coronavirus vaccines have been prepared for distribution at a vaccination site in Manila on May 18, 2021. (Ali Vicoy/Manila Bulletin)

An infectious disease expert said that bivalent vaccines are effective against the Omicron subvariant BF.7.

This is because the bivalent vaccines target the Omicron and its subvariants, said Dr. Rontgene Solante, head of the San Lazaro Hospital’s Adult Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine.

“We know that the BF.7 is subvariant of Omicron and the bivalent vaccine has a very good activity protection, specifically against Omicron,” said Solante in a televised press briefing on Friday, Dec. 23.

Solante said it is best that the country’s next purchase of vaccines would be the bivalent type.

“If we are going to give the next vaccine–it should be the bivalent vaccine because most of the current prevailing variant of concern is related with Omicron,” said Solante.

“If you have a vaccine that is specific for Omicron, then mas angat ang proteksyon,” he added.

The Department of Health (DOH) is expected to purchase this new generation of Covid-19 vaccines early next year, said DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire in a previous briefing.

On Friday, the DOH also confirmed four cases of Omicron subvaraint BF.7 in the Philippines.