CHSO reports minimal COVID-19 infections among vaccinated persons

17 August 2021 – Only about 0.23 percent of the 85,814 fully vaccinated individuals in Baguio City as of August 15 have been infected with the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

This was based on the monitoring and surveillance of the City Health Services Office (CHSO) on “breakthrough cases” or those that have been infected with COVID-19 even after vaccination.

Dr. Rowena Galpo, City Health Services Officer, reported a total of 29 breakthrough cases among individuals before they had their second dose of vaccine; 55 cases were infected with the virus 14 days after they were fully vaccinated; and, 140 individuals were infected after more than 14 days of being fully inoculated.

COVID-19 infection despite being vaccinated is expected according to Galpo since no vaccine has 100 percent efficacy.  The good news, Galpo explained, is that vaccinated individuals are protected from severe symptoms of COVID-19 and therefore have a higher and faster rate of recovering compared to unvaccinated persons.

Galpo rallied for the public to continue adhering to the minimum public health standards regardless of vaccination status.

“Vaccines do not guarantee that we will not get the virus (no vaccine has 100 percent efficacy).  Even with a full dose, we can still get infected but with less chance or probability because of the antibodies that we develop from the vaccines. Vaccines help us develop active immunity so when we are exposed to the virus, our bodies know how to fight the infection. But some vaccinated persons do not have enough immunity and this is why we still have breakthrough infections or persons fully vaccinated who still get infected,” explained Harold James Doroteo, Technical Officer (STC) on COVID-19 Response of the World Health Organization Philippines.

“Vaccines lower the chance of developing severe symptoms and even death. There will still be deaths but most likely this is due to age risks and comorbidities,” he furthered.

The WHO personnel added that vaccines also prevent the virus from mutating to more virulent variants.  “The more people vaccinated, the less likely the virus will spread and thrive which results in its eradication,” he said. – Jessa Samidan