Infectious diseases expert Dr. Rontgene Solante (File photo)

MANILA – The lifting of the state of public emergency due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) by year-end must be studied thoroughly, an infectious diseases expert said Tuesday.

In a televised public briefing, Dr. Rontgene Solante emphasized that placing the country under a state of public health emergency comes with benefits, including free vaccination against Covid-19.

"Now in the event na tatanggalin iyan, mawala na iyong bisa ng emergency use authorization… kawawa naman tayo (that it will be removed, the effectivity of the emergency use authorization will be gone... it would be disadvantageous for us)," he said.

"Ang mangyari niyan talagang majority of the population will now be paying for those vaccines ‘no (What will happen is majority of the population will now be paying for those vaccines)."

Solante urged the public to take advantage of the available provisions while the country is under a state of public health emergency as the community transmission of the coronavirus continues.

He also noted that the current monovalent vaccines still protect against the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron and the development of severe Covid-19 infection.

"As long as boostered kayo, mataas pa rin ang proteksyon natin (As long as you're boostered, your protection is high), he said. "Ang importante diyan, ma-maintain natin iyong population immunity, and then by early part of next year, maski nandito pa iyong Omicron, mataas pa rin ang proteksyon natin (What's important is, we maintain our population immunity, and then by the early part of next year, our protection remains high even if Omicron is still here." (PNA)