MANILA – There are 642 coronavirus infections in over 20.3 million fully vaccinated individuals in the Philippines as of September 26, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Friday.
Of this number, 126 were infected less than 14 days after the last dose while 516 got the virus more than 14 days after full inoculation.
FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said from the 642, a total of 30 died who are mostly senior citizens with comorbidities.
At least 849 people, meanwhile, were infected before they got their next dose, of whom 92 died.
In total, the number of Covid-19 infections among the vaccinated, both full and partial, including those unverified, is 1,581 while the fatalities are at 128.
The FDA classifies a case as a "breakthrough infection" if the virus has been detected from a person more than 14 days after the completion of all recommended vaccine doses.
"The true breakthrough infections are the 516 because the virus was detected from a person more than 14 days after the completion of doses," Domingo said.
"So napakababa naman talaga compared to the general population (this is really few compared to the number of the general population," he added.
Domingo noted that almost 90 percent of the breakthrough infections are people who mostly go outside for work or errands age 18 to 39 while around five percent are senior citizens.
Although the percentage of infection is low among senior citizens, Domingo noted that the mortality rate among this age group is the highest.
"All the deaths are almost coming from the senior citizens. So we need to remember, especially for these young people age 18 to 39, you have to be very careful when you go out kasi kayo 'yong nagkakasakit at kayo 'yong nag-uuwi sa bahay ng Covid-19 dahil ang mga seniors hindi naman sila nakakalabas ng bahay (because you are the ones who usually go out and with higher risk to get Covid-19 and infect the elderly since they cannot really go outside of their homes yet)," he said.
Domingo, on the other hand, does not see the vaccine's effectiveness waning because the trend in vaccine breakthrough infections does not increase as months go by.
"So far, the trend seems to be flat, wala naman tayong nakikitang pagdami ng nagkakaroon ng breakthrough infection through time so wala pa tayong nakikitang dahilan para sabihin na bumaba ang protection rate or kailangan na ng booster shot for the general population (we do not see an increase in breakthrough infection through time so we can't say yet that the protection rate decreases or that we already need a booster shot for the general population)," he said.
He said FDA's monitoring showed that the benefits of vaccination still outweighed the risks.
"Vaccines are effective in helping us control this epidemic. Of course, it is important to complete the doses," he added. (PNA)