MANILA—Vaccination is the only way to stop COVID-19 transmission and mutation, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.
The coronavirus jabs being used in the country should remain effective against severe infection even if its protection could be reduced against new variants, FDA director-general Eric Domingo said.
A UK study showed that the Delta variant first reported in India diminishes the efficacy of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to 89 percent from 94 percent, and Astrazeneca's to 59 percent from 70 percent, Domingo said.
"It’s also the only way to stop the variant from coming in kasi habang dumadami ang transmission, lumalaki ang chance na nagmumutate ang virus," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(It’s also the only way to stop the variant from coming in because as long as transmission continues, the chances of the virus mutating gets bigger.)
"Kahit makapasok ang bagong variant may protection pa rin po lalo na sa severe disease, sa pagkaospital at pagkamatay."
(Even if the new variant enters the country, we still have protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death.)
The Philippines has so far recorded 17 cases of the Delta variant. It has reported a total of 1,372,232 COVID-19 infections as of Wednesday, with 49,862 active cases.
The country aims to vaccinate at least 58 million individuals this year to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus. A total of 8,407,342 jabs have been administered nationwide as of Sunday, government said.