OFW who received Sinopharm vax tests positive for COVID in Mandaue City

Mock coronavirus vaccine. Photo: Hakan Nural/Unsplash
Mock coronavirus vaccine. Photo: Hakan Nural/Unsplash

An overseas Filipino worker living in Mandaue City who arrived from the United Arab Emirates has tested positive for COVID-19, despite receiving two doses of Sinopharm’s vaccine.

The 43-year-old male worker received his first dose of the vaccine on Dec. 12 and the second on Jan. 2, Department of Health Region 7 spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche said yesterday. He arrived in Cebu City on Jan. 5 where he was quarantined until Jan. 20. On Feb. 8 he was given another swab test, which turned out positive.

Five members of his household were also infected with the coronavirus. All of them are quarantined in their home.

Read: Filipino in New York City develops blood disease after getting Moderna’s COVID vax

The spokesperson of the Health Department said that Sinopharm’s vax might have been incapable of protecting people from certain variants of the coronavirus, which would explain why the worker tested positive.

“[T]here are [also] no solid scientific studies yet as to the length of immunity that a vaccine can give,” she added. “It’s highly probable that the immunity that the vaccine has given as protection has not kicked off yet.”

The worker is asymptomatic, while three of his family members are experiencing coughs.

The Philippines has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia, with 553, 424 recorded as of yesterday. The number includes 11,577 deaths and 512,033 recoveries. The Duterte government has yet to start its vaccination program, unlike neighboring countries Indonesia and Singapore.

Officials in charge of the country’s vaccination program could not give a definite date for the start of inoculation. Despite the absence of the much-needed drug, the government conducted a simulation exercise to prepare for the vaccine’s arrival.



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