COVID vaccines reduce transmission of the dominant Delta variant by about 40 percent, the WHO has said, warning that people were falling into a false sense of security concerning jabs.
The World Health Organization's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said many vaccinated people were wrongly thinking the jab meant they no longer needed to take any other precautions.
Fully-immunized people must stick with measures to avoid catching the virus and passing it on, Tedros insisted, spelling out how the more contagious Delta meant the vaccines were not as effective against transmission.
"We're concerned about the false sense of security that vaccines haveended the pandemic and people who are vaccinated do not need to take any other precautions," Tedros told reporters Wednesday.
"Vaccines save lives but they do not fully prevent transmission. Data suggests that before the arrival of the Delta variant, vaccines reduced transmission by about 60 percent. With Delta, that has dropped to about 40 percent."
The more transmissible Delta variant is now overwhelmingly dominant around the world, having all but out-competed other strains.
"If you are vaccinated, you have a much lower risk of severe disease and death but you are still at risk of being infected and infecting others," said Tedros.
"We cannot say this clearly enough: even if you are vaccinated, continue to take precautions to prevent becoming infected yourself, and infecting someone else who could die."
That meant wearing a facemask, maintaining distance, avoiding crowds and meeting others outside or only in a well-ventilated indoor space, he said.
In the Philippines, only five percent of the 76,837 adverse events following immunization (AEFIs) were seen as "serious" since the country began its COVID-19 vaccination program in March, health officials said Thursday.
Food and Drug Administration Director General Eric Domingo said adverse reactions "do not necessarily have a causal relationship with the vaccine.”
"We would just like to remind everybody we only allow vaccines to be used if we are sure the benefits outweigh the risks," Domingo told reporters.
"Whatever adverse event might be related to a vaccine is definitely much less than the number of people getting sick and dying from COVID-19,” he said.
The total number of adverse events comprise only 0.10 percent of the 75.6 million jabs administered as of Nov. 21, Domingo said.
He said the most common adverse reactions are increase in blood pressure, fever, pain on the vaccination site.
The government has fully vaccinated 34.2 million individuals, while 43.3 million have received an initial dose as of Tuesday, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said.
It aims to inoculate 15 million people during its three-day vaccination drive from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.
Meanwhile, another shipment of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Manila on Thursday.
The shipment consists of 1,747,560 doses landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport – Terminal 3 around 4:10 p.m. via Emirates flight EK-332.
On Wednesday, the Philippines also received 700,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines donated by the Australian government. With AFP