IF you are one of the more than 143,000 Baguio residents who have been fully vaccinated since September 24, then there’s a high probability that you will be reading this.
According to the City Health Service Office, no death can be traced directly from any of the COVID vaccines administered to residents.
But as of September 18, of those 364 who were killed (the deaths have now reached 450), ten have been vaccinated.
It wasn’t ascertained if those ten were fully vaccinated or had only one shot.
The City Health Services Office under Dr. Rowena Galpo said the death incidents involving vaccinated persons in the city undergo intensive investigation by the Regional Adverse Events Following Immunization Committee (RAEFIC) composed of specialists on vaccinology, infectious disease, and allergy.
The committee AEFI gathers every week to deliberate on the deadly incident involving a vaccinated person to determine and establish whether or not the death was caused by the vaccine. The findings will then be reviewed and validated by the National AEFIC. The experts use not only one but several gauges or bases in their investigations.
The CHSO said the death incidence decreased considerably after the city rolled out its vaccination program for senior citizens or A2 in the vaccination priority list and persons with comorbidities (A3).
The CHSO also said that of the 119,589 residents who were fully vaccinated and the 72,888 who have had just one vaccine (as of September 19), 865 had breakthrough infection with COVID.
A breakthrough infection is a case of illness in which a vaccinated individual becomes sick from the same illness that the vaccine is meant to prevent. Simply, they occur when vaccines fail to provide immunity against the pathogen they are designed to target.
Vaccine breakthrough infections are expected, CHSO said. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing most infections. However, like other vaccines, they are not foolproof.
A graph obtained by the Baguio Chronicle showed that some vaccines are more effective than others.
The encoded data compared the different COVID vaccine brands like Janssen, Pfizer, Moderna, Gamaleya, and AstraZeneca. Of these vaccines, Sinovac was the most utilized, accounting for 62 percent of all full vaccines and 40 percent of the partial dose or 42.5 of the total administered in Baguio. Second is Astrazeneca with 22.32 percent of the total doses, followed by Pfizer with 14.5 percent and Janssen with 12.4 percent.
Only 0.49 percent of those who were vaccinated in Baguio suffered from breakthrough infections. This means that for every 1,000 of those vaccinated, 4.9 suffered breakthrough infections.
So far, the most widely used has been Sinovac with 132,619 doses administered, of which 51,790 have been used for full vaccination as of September 19 and 29,039 given only once yet. The second most used is Astrazeneca with 69,665 (19,391 fully used and 30,883 partially used). Third is Pfizer with 45,375 doses with 21,233 used fully and 2,903 used just once. The third is the one-dose-only Janssen with 19,391 used once fully. Moderna is fifth with 19,642 doses administered with 7,119 fully and 5,404 partially. The least used was Gamaleya with 5,984 total doses with only 665 used fully and 4,654 still awaiting their second dose at that time.
Of the 72,888 who were partially vaccinated, 182 suffered breakthrough COVID infection. Of these 182, 78 already had one dose of Sinovac while 59 had AstraZeneca. Those who had an extended wait for their Gamaleya saw 24 of them suffering breakthrough infections. Seventeen of those who had partial Moderna had breakthrough infections while only four of those who had Pfizer had it.
96 suffered breakthrough COVID within two weeks after their second dose (the incubation period for vaccines). Of these, 51 had Sinovac while 17 each had it after taking Janssen and AstraZeneca. Only eight of those who had Pfizer shots within two weeks suffered from breakthroughs and three from among those given Moderna. No cases have so far been seen among those who had a full dose of Gamaleya because there were only 665 of them.
More than two-thirds of the cases of breakthrough COVID infection came after the 14-day incubation period. Of these 587 cases, an overwhelming number came from those who had a full dose of Sinovac with 398. This comprises 68 percent of all cases within the 587 cases. Only 86 of those who have had a full dose of Astrazeneca after two weeks suffered breakthrough infection while only 54 of those who had Janssen and 46 of those who had Pfizer suffered the same problem. Only three of the 665 fully-vaccinated Gamaleya also suffered breakthrough infections while none of those who had Moderna got breakthrough infections.
The majority of the 0.49 percent rate of breakthrough infection from those vaccinated was caused by Sinovac. Of those who took the Chinese-made vaccine, 0.77 percent suffered breakthrough infections or a total of 527 cases. About 0.45 percent (27) of those who took Gamaleya got breakthrough infections, edging those who took AstraZeneca (162 out of 69,665 or 0.44 percent).
Fully vaccinated people with a breakthrough infection are less likely to develop serious illnesses than those who get COVID -19 but are unvaccinated. Even when fully vaccinated, people can develop symptoms, but they tend to have less severe symptoms than unvaccinated people. This means the unvaccinated are much more likely to be hospitalized or die.