Way out of COVID-19 pandemic is through vaccination, antiviral drugs – OCTA fellow
MANILA, Philippines — The way out of the COVID-19 pandemic is through vaccination and antiviral drugs that would make the disease endemic, an OCTA Research fellow, Fr. Nicanor Austriaco Jr., said during the weekly “Talk to the People” of President Rodrigo Duterte that aired late Monday night.
In turn, this would allow the Philippines to “reopen completely our societies,” Austriaco, a Catholic priest who’s also a molecular biologist, said.
“The way out of this pandemic is through vaccinations, which we are doing now, and we must continue to do that to maintain immunity, especially with the Omicron threat. And we now also have to focus our efforts on procuring antiviral drugs,” he said.
“This combination will transform pandemic COVID-19 into endemic COVID-19 where we will be able to reopen completely our societies and where COVID-19 will become a regular flu,” he added.
The OCTA fellow urged Filipinos to get vaccinated to avoid getting sick, especially with the looming threat of the new variant of concern.
“Omicron, when it arrives in the Philippines, will find every unvaccinated Filipino, and you will get sick. And even though it is mild, it will still COVID-19,” he said.
Austriaco also pointed out that, while a vaccine’s efficacy would vary with each variant of the coronavirus, antiviral drugs would be equally effective against all variants.
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