“The evidence is still, benefits outweigh the risk,” says Dr. Beverly Ho, DOH Director for Health Promotion and Communication Service and Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, in an exclusive interview called Sandwich Sessions with SmartParenting.com.phand other Summit Media editors.
She adds that while efficacy rates vary depending on the vaccine, it is safe to get inoculated and get protection from the disease.
“The vaccines can protect you from asymptomatic/mild infection but can also prevent moderate to severe infection. So, ‘yung efficacy rate niya for asymptomatic or mild infections, it's not always 100 percent,” Dr. Ho says.
“Alam natin that all vaccines that have gotten EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) are still fulfilling phase 3 trials. So, they're continuously getting data from other countries na may variants.
“What we're seeing so far, at least for the known variants, the vaccines that are present in the market are still effective. If ever may kaunting decrease in efficacy but [with] minimum health standards, when you combine it with the vaccine, [it] should be able to neutralize that effect. We'll still get the protection as long as you do MPHS plus vaccines,” says Dr. Ho.
This recommendation supports earlier statements made by the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS) and the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) on COVID vaccination of pregnant and breastfeeding women.
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“All COVID vaccines may be offered to breastfeeding women after consultation with their physicians and after shared decision making. Breastfeeding women who are classified to be in the high-risk group are recommended to receive the vaccine,” according to PPS.
“We reiterate that breastfeeding women should not be withheld from receiving COVID-19 vaccines who otherwise meet criteria for vaccination. There is no need to avoid initiation or discontinue breastfeeding in patients who receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” it added.