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As new variant enters PH, Zubiri says 50% vaccine efficacy ‘not enough’

 By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Senator Migz Zubiri

As the new coronavirus variant entered the Philippines, vaccines with a 50 percent rate of efficacy would not be enough, Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said Thursday.

“The more reason that we must get the most effective vaccines for our people and 50 percent efficacy of vaccines isn’t enough,” Zubiri said, partly in Filipino, in a text message.

“Let’s go with the vaccines that have finished Phase 3 trials because their efficacy rates are good — Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Gamaleya, and Novavax,” the senator added.

Zubiri underscored the importance of science  in helping the government of choosing safest, most effective, and cost effective vaccines for Filipinos.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Department of Health (DOH) said the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) reported the detection of the new variant, known as B117, after samples from a Filipino who arrived from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Jan. 7 yielded positive genome sequencing results.

The patient with the UK variant is a male resident of Quezon City who departed for Dubai on Dec. 27 for business and arrived in the Philippines last Jan. 7 via Emirates Flight No. EK 332.


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