Despite being vaccinated against COVID-19 in the United Arab Emirates, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) still tested positive for the virus when he returned to the Philippines, according to a Department of Health official.
In an interview with Super Radyo dzBB on Thursday, DOH-Region 7 spokesperson Mary Jean Loreche said that the OFW returned to the Philippines on January 5.
The OFW was vaccinated with two COVID-19 vaccine doses on December 12, 2020, and January 2, 2021.
But it was not mentioned what brand of the vaccine was given to the OFW.
As part of the standard quarantine and testing procedures for Filipino returnees, he underwent a COVID-19 test and was found to be positive for the virus.
Five of the seven OFW family members also tested positive for the virus and were placed in an isolation facility.
“Alam naman po natin ang isang tao kahit nabigyan na ng bakuna, hindi naman po ito garantiya na ikaw ay magkakaroon na ng immunity,” said Loreche.
OFW vaccinated in UAE tests positive for COVID-19 in PH
“Ang epekto ng bakuna ay to prevent a severe disease. Kung ikaw ay nabakunahan at magkakaroon ka man ng COVID, hindi po ikaw magiging grabe. Hindi ka ipapasok sa intensive care unit,” the official explained.
Despite this, Loreche explained the positive effects of COVID-19 vaccines.
“Wala rin po siyang sintomas from the time na dumating to the time na-swab at lumabas ang resulta. Hanggang ngayon wala pong nararamdaman ang ating kababayan,” she added.
She added that there is no evidence yet that COVID-19 vaccines can prevent the spread of the virus.
“Sa mga datos ng mga bakuna natin… it can prevent severe disease, it can prevent clinical disease. Pero to prevent transmission, hindi po clear cut ‘yan kaya hindi po natin masasabi na ikaw, kung nabakunahan ka, hindi ka na makakahawa,” the official explained.
In the Philippines, vaccination has not yet begun after the delivery of Pfizer-BioNTech drugs was delayed this February. This is because of the issue of indemnification or giving assistance to those who are vaccinated in case the drug has a serious negative effect.