DOH: Most COVID fatalities unvaxxed
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) reiterated the importance of being vaccinated against COVID-19 as it reported on Monday that most deaths from the disease involved unvaccinated or not fully immunized individuals.
According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, 93.49 percent of COVID-19 related deaths recorded between March 1 and Nov. 14 this year were not fully inoculated.
She said “COVID-19 severe and critical symptoms are 1.75 times more likely to occur among unvaccinated, compared to those fully vaccinated. And deaths from COVID-19 are 2.6 times more likely to occur among unvaccinated, compared to those vaccinated with two doses.”
Data by the DOH as of Nov. 21 showed there were 33.57 million fully vaccinated and 41.99 million partially vaccinated Filipinos.
In a bid to boost the number of fully vaccinated individuals, Vergeire said all regions would be considered priority during the three-day national vaccination drive on Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.
She said the government was looking to inoculate 15 million in those three days—targeting people in regions with bigger populations such as Calabarzon, Central Luzon, Bicol and Western, Central and Eastern Visayas.
“All regions are now at minimal to low-risk case classification, with negative two-week growth rates and average daily attack rates [of] less than seven per 100,000 population,” Vergeire said. “Majority of the regions have a total COVID-19 bed and ICU (intensive care unit) utilization at low risk.”
She said only 12 areas were under alert level 3 and one province, Catanduanes, was under alert level 4, while the rest of the country—or 108 out of the 121 provinces, highly urbanized cities, and independent component cities—were under alert level 2.
Areas under alert level 3 are Apayao, Baguio City, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Batanes, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Siquijor, City of Isabela, Zamboanga City, Dinagat Islands and Sulu.
Yet even with that downtrend, Vergeire warned of the possibility of more cases by the end of the year.
She said active cases may reach up to 20,763 to 21,441 by the end of November and 21,940 to 27,538 by the end of the year.
But that estimate may drop to 10,122 if compliance with minimum health standards is sustained, even with increased mobility, she said.
The country was back to logging less than a thousand COVID-19 cases after breaching the 2,000 mark on Sunday, although that spike was attributed to a backlog in case reporting.
The latest case bulletin of the DOH showed there were only 984 new infections, which brought the country’s total tally to 2,826,853.
Active cases were at 19,798, of which 56.6 percent were mild, 4.6 percent were asymptomatic, 20 percent were moderate, 13.3 percent were severe and 5.6 percent were critical.
Only 2.8 percent of 35,901 tested on Saturday were found positive for COVID-19.
The DOH reported 2,229 recoveries, bringing the total number of COVID-19 survivors to 2,759,767.
But there were 218 new fatalities, bringing up the death toll to 47,288.