An infectious diseases expert on Monday said the Covid-19 vaccines currently available in the Philippines would not give sterilizing immunity or completely prevent a virus from spreading in a person’s body.

Dr. Edsel Salvana said in a “Laging Handa” briefing that the herd immunity possible through the country’s current set of vaccines mostly prevents severe disease and death.

“Iyong herd immunity that people think about na hindi na mahahawa, hindi po iyon achievable with the current vaccines that we have,” he said.

According to Salvana, the efficacy of vaccines in preventing infections wanes overtime.

“So hindi na po herd immunity ang tawag doon kasi wala na naman siyang masyadong napi-prevent na transmission, 30 to 40 percent na lang,” he said.

“At kahit i-vaccinate mo lahat ng tao, hindi ka makakaabot doon sa tinatawag na sterilizing immunity na kahit may case, hindi na siya makakakalat – magkakaroon pa rin ng breakthrough,” Salvana added.

Breakthrough cases occur when a fully vaccinated individual contracts the disease he is vaccinated against.

Salvana said being vaccinated would help minimize the effects of a virus on one’s body.

“Ang important is that iyong epekto ng any of these outbreaks katulad noong nakita natin sa Omicron, is really tempered by the level of vaccination to the point na iyong mga mamamatay ay nasa level na lang na nakikita natin sa trangkaso, hindi na doon sa level ng unvaccinated na Covid na up to 10 percent ay puwedeng mamatay lalung-lalo na doon sa vulnerable population,” he said.

More than 64 Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. John Ezekiel J. Hirro