DOH7: COVID-19 vaccine ‘ideally works’ in preventing severe symptoms

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital | February 18,2021 - 09:40 AM

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) clarified that receiving vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not a guaranteed prevention from getting infected. 

This as the local government of Mandaue City on Wednesday, February 17, 2021, announced that a 43-year-old male Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) tested positive of COVID-19 even after being vaccinated. 

READ MORE: Vaccinated in UAE, positive in Cebu; an OFW’s dilemma 

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH-7 spokesperson, confirmed that vaccines ‘ideally work to prevent an individual from developing more serious symptoms of an infection’.

The Mandaue City Government sought the help of experts to explain a case of an OFW confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19 despite being vaccinated already. 

Loreche said the patient completed his inoculation schedule by receiving two doses of COVID-19 vaccines from China’s Sinopharm on December 12, 2020 and January 2, 2021 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

He arrived via Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) from UAE last January 5, and was released from a 14-day quarantine last January 20. 

But when he went for another round of swab test last February 8 as part of his requirements for his return to the Middle East nation, his tests showed he was infected with COVID-19. 

As a result, contact tracers of Mandaue City discovered that the virus has spread to five of the seven members of his household, who were immediately transferred for isolation. 

Loreche cited several reasons to explain why the OFW was still infected with COVID-19 even after being inoculated.

“There are no solid scientific studies yet as to the length of immunity that a vaccine can give,” said Loreche. 

“It’s (also) highly probably that the immunity that the vaccine has given as a protection has not kicked off yet. Thirdly, it is possible that (he is infected with) a different variant,” she added. 

UAE is among the countries that have approved the use of Sinopharm for general public use in their respective COVID-19 vaccine drives. 

Recently, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) here issued a ‘compassionate use license’ for 10,000 doses of the China-manufactured Sinopharm for the Presidential Security Group (PSG). 

The compassionate use license will allow the PSG to get access to unregistered vaccines sans an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA, which is required before a vaccine can be administered legally in the country.

Sinopharm has yet to apply for an EUA before the FDA.

To date, only the Covid-19 vaccines of Pfizer-BioNTech and British drugmaker AstraZeneca have secured EUAs in the country.

The compassionate use license will also allow the PSG and their families to skip the line of the government’s Covid-19 priority groups, where uniformed personnel are fourth on the list.

Some members of the President’s security detail have already been administered Covid-19 vaccines as early as September last year, PSG commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III earlier admitted. / with reports from


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TAGS: COVID-19, DOH-7, severe symptoms, vaccine

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