Malaya clarifies: Public may use AstraZeneca in relation to ‘no vax, no ride’ policy | Inquirer News

Malaya clarifies: Public may use AstraZeneca in relation to ‘no vax, no ride’ policy

/ 12:08 AM January 29, 2022
Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya on Friday clarified his previous statement on telling workers to avoid AstraZeneca vaccines in relation to the “no vaccination, no ride” policy, saying the gap before the second dose of British-made vaccine is actually at par with other vaccines. 

DILG Spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya. (Photo from his FB account)

MANILA, Philippines — Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya on Friday clarified his previous statement on telling workers to avoid AstraZeneca vaccines in relation to the “no vaccination, no ride” policy, saying the gap before the second dose of British-made vaccine is actually at par with other vaccines.

Malaya made the clarification with the INQUIRER.net after he urged the workers to choose vaccines other than AstraZeneca in an interview with CNN Philippines.

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However, his statement then was based on the wrong premise that the gap between the second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine takes longer than other brands.

If true, then most vaccinees who only got their vaccine recently could not be fully vaccinated once the recalibrated no vaccination, no ride would be imposed. It was announced on January 26, and the public had been given 30 days to complete their vaccination.

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READ: DILG to Metro Manila LGUs: Use vaccine brands with shorter gap between shots

It can be recalled that the government recalibrated the “no vaccination, no ride policy” in Metro Manila to only allow fully vaccinated to use public transport, removing exemptions to unvaccinated who are out for essential travel and those who only had their first dose.

“Any vaccines now can be used by unvaccinated workers,” he told INQUIRER.net over the phone.

Malaya, citing the data from the Department of Health, said those who got vaccinated with AstraZeneca vaccines could get their next dose as early as 28 days, at par with other vaccine brands.

However, AstraZeneca’s second dose interval could be up to 84 days, infectious disease expert Rontgene Solante said.

“AstraZeneca vaccine is the only COVID vaccine that can be given with a wide interval between first and second dose and yet elicit the same protection as would other vaccines after a full two dose is administered,” Solante told INQUIRER.net in a text message.

Solante, meanwhile, encouraged the public to get their shots now, saying “we can’t afford to rely on herd immunity” by only vaccinating 70 percent of the population.

“With a heavily mutated variant like Omicron, one reason why most people only develop less severe infection is due to vaccines. And if there are segments of the population that remain unvaccinated, likelihood of transmission is possible within this population of unvaccinated, likelihood of mutation is also possible. This population of unvaccinated will be the one to develop severe infection and cause the healthcare facility utilization to increase,” he explained.

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TAGS: Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Jonathan Malaya, no vax no ride
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