Anti-vaccine pastor in Davao City contracts severe COVID, says official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 14 2021 03:24 PM | Updated as of Sep 14 2021 07:30 PM

DAVAO CITY — A 61-year-old female pastor in Davao City is suffering from a severe case of COVID-19, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said on Monday.

Duterte-Carpio shared in her weekly radio interview that the pastor from an unspecified church supposedly did not believe in COVID-19 vaccines and discouraged people from getting vaccinated.

She also said that another faith-based anti-vaxxer in her city died due to COVID-19.

"We are reminding everyone, especially those who oppose vaccination due to their faith, that science cannot be found in the bible, because the bible only talks about our relationship with God. Our enemy right now is COVID-19, a virus which is not in the bible," the local chief executive said in her dialect.

While there is no vaccine that provides 100 percent protection against COVID-19, data show that all vaccine brands being used in the government's inoculation program are effective, the Food and Drug Administration said last week.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had said building immunity against COVID-19 "typically takes a few weeks."

Johns Hopkins, America's premiere research university said COVID-19 vaccines do not totally block the virus but definitely "prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death."

'91 PCT COVID CASES NOT YET VACCINATED'

Duterte-Carpio also said that of Davao City’s 3,304 new COVID-19 cases from Sept. 5 to 11, 91.13 percent or 3,011 individuals were supposedly still unvaccinated while 8.86 percent or 293 people were vaccinated against the virus.

Of the 293 vaccinated COVID-19 patients, she said 148 individuals received Sinovac shots, 72 had AstraZeneca, 62 got Pfizer, 6 were inoculated with Moderna, 4 received the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, while 1 patient had Sputnik.

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She said the city rolled out more Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines, which might be the reason why there were many cases of breakthrough infections from the brand. 

From Sept. 5 to 11, Davao City also logged 59 additional deaths. Of this number, 55 or 93.22 percent were unvaccinated while 4 or 6.77 percent were vaccinated.

Despite this, the mayor said all vaccines work and that brands do not matter. 

"We don’t need to choose a vaccine brand because there’s that chance that all kinds of vaccines will still not prevent you from getting infected with COVID-19," she said. 

"What’s important is for everybody to understand that we won’t be a severe or critical case that would need to be hospitalized and get help from our doctors and health care workers who are already overwhelmed, tired, without rest, and scared," she added.

As of Monday, Davao City posted 617 new COVID-19 infections, pushing the total reported cases to 43,656. 

The city still has 8,992 active cases, while total fatalities reached 1,329.

As of Monday, the Philippines has fully vaccinated at least 17 million people or 22.14 percent of its target, government said. 

More than 22 million others have received their first dose. -- Report from Hernel Tocmo