Available vaccines in PH lower risk of severe Covid: expert

(PNA file photo)

MANILA – The public can rest assured that all the available vaccines in the Philippines have undergone thorough evaluation to ascertain their safety and efficacy in preventing severe coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), an infectious disease expert said Friday.

“[A]ng panawagan natin kung ano ‘yong available na bakuna iyon na ang kuhanin nila kasi lahat naman ng bakuna na available ay may EUA (emergency use authorization) ng Food and Drug Administration at lahat ‘yon (Our appeal to the public is to take what’s available because all the vaccines we have here have EUA and they have) very good ang resulta (results) in terms of preventing severe Covid and preventing you from dying from Covid,” Dr. Karl Henson of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Inc. said during the Laging Handa briefing.

Henson said the EUA alone ensures that a specific vaccine has passed through FDA’s strict regulatory process, “which we can be assured are very thorough and reliable.”

The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier directed local government units to refrain from announcing the brand of vaccines to be used in a bid to overcome “brand preference”.

Be it Pfizer, Moderna, or CoronaVac, Henson emphasized that based on the data from clinical trials, the protection provided against severe Covid-19 once the second shot has been administered is “almost 100 percent” with only a small percentage of getting the disease.

At the Medical City where almost all personnel have received their shots, Henson shared that only one or two experienced a severe adverse event following immunization.

He, meanwhile, noted that allergic reactions and adverse events are different from the common side effects of vaccination.

“‘Yong mga ini-expect na sintomas like lagnat, pananakit ng katawan, lahat ‘yon expected, paracetamol lang ang katapat noon so iyon ok lang ‘yon mawawala siya nang kusa after a day or so (Fever, body aches, those are all expected after receiving the jab and can be solved with paracetamol. It will disappear in a day or so),” he said.

Aside from protection against severe Covid-19, Henson said getting vaccinated also helps prevent SARS-CoV-2 from further mutating, which could lead to potentially more dangerous variants.

“Kapag masyadong mataas ‘yong kaso natin mas likely na magfo-form ang variants so gusto natin na mabakunahan ang lahat para maprotektahan sila at para bumaba yong kaso at ‘di na magkaroon ng bagong variants pa (If the cases are high that’s when variants are most likely to form that is why we need everyone to get vaccinated),” he said. (PNA)

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