MANILA (UPDATE)— The Philippines has so far recorded 516 COVID-19 breakthrough infections out of 20.3 million fully vaccinated individuals, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday.
The breakthrough infections or those who caught the respiratory illness more than 14 days after completing the recommended vaccine doses represent only 0.0025 percent among the vaccinated, FDA director general Eric Domingo said.
"So, napakababa naman talaga compared sa general population," he said in a press briefing.
(So, it's very low compared to the general population.)
He later added, "Breakthrough infections can still occur even if you do have full vaccination that's why you have to observe health protocols."
Meanwhile, some 14 patients died after getting infected with the virus despite being fully vaccinated, FDA data also showed.
"All of them were senior citizens except one. There was one person in the late 50's... Many of them had comorbidities like diabetes and hypertension," Domingo said.
Here is a breakdown of breakthrough infections per vaccine brand as of Sept. 26:
- Sinovac - 327 breakthrough infections out of 10,724,210 fully vaccinated individuals
- AstraZeneca - 125 breakthrough infections out of 2,563,850 fully vaccinated individuals
- Janssen - 35 breakthrough infections out of 3,585,355 fully vaccinated individuals
- Pfizer - 28 breakthrough infections out of 1,943,530 fully vaccinated individuals
- Sputnik V - 1 breakthrough infection out of 119,955 fully vaccinated individuals
The FDA reported that breakthrough infections were not observed in vaccines made by Moderna (1,350,434 fully vaccinated individuals) and Sinopharm (19,788 fully vaccinated individuals).
In his presentation, Domingo noted that breakthrough cases were prevalent among young adults but that the elderly were most affected by COVID-19 deaths.
Those aged 18 to 39 comprised 90 percent of the breakthrough infections, he said.
"You have to be very careful when you go out. You have to wear your mask. You have to maintain distancing," he said.
"Huwag pupunta sa crowded areas kasi kayo 'yung nagkakasakit at kayo 'yung nag-uuwi sa bahay ng COVID-19 dahil ang mga senior citizens hindi naman nakakalabas ng bahay."
(Don't go to crowded areas because you're the ones getting sick and bringing COVID-19 at home because senior citizens can't go out.)
In total, the FDA has recorded 1,581 COVID-19 infections and 128 COVID-19 fatalities among the vaccinated.
This includes 849 people who contracted the virus after the first shot, 126 people who got COVID-19 within 14 days after their second dose, 90 people with "unknown dose number or incomplete data," and the 516 breakthrough infections.
The Philippines has so far issued emergency use authorization to 7 vaccine brands. These are Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sputnik V, Janssen, Moderna and Sinopharm.
Of the 69,699,340 million doses delivered in the country, about 43,933,886 of them have been administered since the start of government's inoculation drive in March.
Some 20,307,122 individuals have been fully vaccinated in the country as of Sept. 26, the FDA said.