Prioritize COVID-19 vaccination over prophylaxis intake, says infectious disease expert

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 05 2021 01:23 PM

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MANILA - The public is urged to prioritize COVID-19 vaccination versus intake of prophylaxis such as ivermectin, an infectious disease expert said Wednesday.

Several doctors organizations have warned their members against prescribing the anti-parasitic drug without compassionate special permit.

Among these was the Philippine College of Physicians, said Dr. Rontgene Solante, head of adult infectious diseases department at San Lazaro Hospital.

Medical workers receive their first dose of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine at the Sta. Ana Hospital in Manila on May 4, 2021, as the Russian vaccine rolls out in five cities in Metro Manila. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

"Sa amin mas i-prioritize mo na pag i-offer na sa'yo ang bakuna, mas maigi ang bakuna kasi long-term ang protection nito hindi kagaya ng prophylaxis na halimbawa kung may bisa man 'yan, habang buhay mong iinumin 'yan. Mas mataas ang side effect," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(For us, prioritize the COVID-19 vaccine when it's offered to you because its protection is long-term, unlike prophylaxis that if it is efficacious, you will have to take it for the rest of your life, leading to more side effects.)

Two lawmakers last week distributed the anti-parasitic drug to patients who were given prescriptions by on-site doctors without signing their names or putting their license. 

The FDA has so far allowed only 5 hospitals to use ivermectin as an investigational drug to treat COVID-19.