50% vaccine efficiency not enough, Zubiri says as new virus variant reaches PH
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri underscored on Wednesday that COVID-19 vaccines with only 50 percent efficacy rate would not be enough, especially now that a new coronavirus variant from the United Kingdom had been detected in the Philippines.
“The more reason that we must get the most effective vaccines for our people and 50 percent efficacy of vaccines isn’t enough,” Zubiri said, partly in Filipino, in a text message.
“Let’s go with the vaccines that have finished Phase 3 trials because their efficacy rates are good — Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Gamaleya, and Novavax,” the senator added.
Zubiri said science should guide the government in determining the safest, most effective and cost effective vaccine to buy for Filipinos.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Department of Health (DOH) said the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) reported the detection of the new variant, known as B117, after samples from a Filipino who arrived from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Jan. 7 yielded positive genome sequencing results.
The patient with the UK variant is a male resident of Quezon City who departed for Dubai on Dec. 27 for businessc and arrived in the Philippines last Jan. 7 via Emirates Flight No. EK 332.
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