The Department of Health (DOH) issued an official communication last July 16 to government hospitals to prepare for a possible surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases caused by the more infectious Delta variant.
The DOH also advised that the 3.2 million Covid-19 vaccines from J&J that arrived over the weekend be exclusively used for elderly and senior citizens, or those belonging to the A2 group.
The DOH said it observed that the country’s elderly population “continue to be at risk of severe Covid-19 or hospitalization.”
The 3.2 million single-dose J&J vaccines were donated by the US government and delivered through the COVAX Facility of the World Health Organization.
Earlier, the government said that the J&J vaccines will be distributed nationwide, with an additional supply for regions where the more transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus has been detected.
The DOH said the vaccine is 67 percent effective against moderate to severe cases, and 77 percent to 85 percent effective in preventing severe to critical infections. It is the only single-dose Covid vaccine available globally.
However, in the US, regulators required J&J to put a warning for possible adverse effects, like nerve damage, although the chances were low. SOVEREIGNPH.