MANILA—Food and Drug Administration (FDA) director-general Eric Domingo on Monday urged the public to get inoculated, regardless of vaccine brand, to protect themselves from the highly contagious Delta COVID-19 variant.
Domingo in a taped public briefing said that all COVID-19 shots can immunize Filipinos against the Delta strain, even if efficacy levels vary among vaccine brands.
He noted that the Pfizer jab, which has a 93% efficacy rate against the Alpha variant first detected in the UK, but logged an 88% rate against the Delta strain which was first emerged in India.
AstraZeneca had a 66% efficacy rate against the Alpha variant, and 60% for the Delta mutation, Domingo added.
"There's a decreasing efficacy as we get more mutations but hindi naman po nawawala ang bisa ng bakuna. It's still a useful vaccine," Domingo said.
Other drugmakers such as Moderna, Sinovac, Sinopharm and J&J are still conducting efficacy trials against the Delta variant.
Earlier Monday, the Philippines announced 17 Filipinos have contracted the Delta variant.
The country also has recorded 1,085 Alpha variant cases and 1,267 Beta variant cases (first detected in South Africa), according to data from the Department of Health.
The DOH earlier said that there were delays in the identification of foreign variants that may have entered the country due to the lack of genome sequencing kits.