The Department of Health revealed that the Department of Science and Technology will conduct a study on breakthrough infections among individuals fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an interview that the proponent of the study is the University of the Philippines-Institute for Clinical Epidemiology which will identify fully vaccinated individuals who still contracted a variant of Covid-19 and determine why. They will also determine the type of vaccines given.
In preparation for the DOST study, the DOH has modified the case information form of individuals who undergo swab tests to include a declaration if they are inoculated or not.
Studying breakthrough infections among the fully vaccinated will be critical, especially after local transmission of the dreaded Delta variant has been detected in the country. The country’s health officials will need to know more about such infections so measures can be put in place to protect the population, including the revision of vaccination strategies if necessary in order to achieve maximum effect and protection as we march towards the goal of herd immunity.
The DOST and DOH must work quickly to study breakthrough infections so we can establish which vaccines are working best for our particular environment and situation. Conversely, if such a study can make a case for vaccines that are perceived to be less effective by proving that breakthrough infections are not isolated to certain brands, the results could go a long way in countering vaccine hesitancy among Filipinos. All additional information will be helpful as government crafts and constantly adjusts its strategies in the quest to herd immunity that is already a challenging endeavor for a nation as populous as the Philippines.*