MANILA— Nine carriers of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the Philippines were earlier vaccinated against the virus and had mild to no symptoms, the Department of Health said Monday, noting that the agency has yet to verify the vaccination status of all 119 people infected with the more transmissible strain.
Of the Delta variant carriers who were already vaccinated, 4 were fully inoculated while 5 others received 1 dose, DOH spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said, without naming the vaccine brands used on them.
Among the fully vaccinated, 3 had mild cases while 1 was asymptomatic, she told reporters in an online press conference.
Three of those who received 1 dose of COVID-19 inoculants had mild cases while 2 were asymptomatic patients, she said.
"Sa 3 na namatay, 2 are unvaccinated. 'Yung isa we are still verifying because this is a returning overseas Filipino," she said.
(Of the 3 who died, 2 are unvaccinated. We are still verifying the vaccination status of the other one because it is a returning overseas Filipino.)
"Pinapakita po ng datos na kapag tayo ay bakunado, mas may laban tayo sa mga variants na ito," Vergeire said.
(Data shows that we have more protection against the variants if we are vaccinated.)
"Nakikita natin na vaccines work," she said.
(We see that vaccines work.)
Twenty-four Delta variant carriers were confirmed to be unvaccinated, while the status of 86 cases are still being verified, according to data from the DOH.
"Mukhang most of them are unvaccinated but still to be verified," Vergeire said.
(It seems that most of them are unvaccinated but it still needs to be verified.)
Over the weekend, the Philippines detected 55 additional cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant, bringing the case load for the highly transmissible variant to 119.
The DOH spokesperson denied that there is already a "surge" of Delta variant cases in the country.
"Tumataas ang mga kaso... 'Wag muna natin gamitin ang surge kasi may depinisyon 'yan sa epidemiology," she said.
(The cases are increasing... We should not yet use the term surge yet because it has an epidemiological definition.)
"Kailangan po natin hintayin 'yung phylogenetic study na ginagawa ng Philippine Genome Center para malaman natin kung mayroon nang ganitong level ng transmission sa ating bansa," she said when asked if there is already community transmission of the Delta strain.
(We have to wait for the phylogenetic study from the Philippine Genome Center to know if there is this kind of transmission in the country.)
So far, of the 8,000 samples from COVID-19 patients sequenced in the Philippines, 21.6 percent were found to be Beta variant strains, 19 percent were positive for the Alpha variant, while 1.27 percent carried Delta mutations.
The Delta variant is known to be more virulent than the Beta variant, and has been the cause of the virus' spread in India and Indonesia, which is now considered the epicenter of pandemic in Southeast Asia.