MANILA, Philippines – Mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 can only occur in unvaccinated and immunocompromised people, an infectious disease expert said Thursday.

Dr. Rontgene Solante, director of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine in Adults at San Lazaro Hospital and a member of the Department of Science and Technology’s Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP), explained that the virus could mutate if it lasted longer in the bodies of the unvaccinated and people who are weakened Immune system.

“In general, vaccines still work. It is for this reason that we all need to vaccinate, especially those who are not vaccinated, as mutations only occur in unvaccinated and immunocompromised people. So we need protection among these population groups so that there are fewer mutations and fewer transmissions of this COVID-19 virus, “Solante said in an interview in the Headstart of the ABS-CBN News Channel.

Solante emphasized that those who do not Are vaccinated against COVID-19, do not have enough antibodies against the coronavirus.

“If you are not vaccinated, you have no antibodies. Your antibodies are not enough to protect you, especially among the immunocompromised and elderly populations. This is where the virus can use your immune system, this poor ability to recognize you, “he explained.

” If you are longer in this body, you can mutate to adapt so that you can stay longer in the body, and here mutations can occur. This is where unvaccinated, immunocompromised people become the reservoir for these viruses.

“Chances are, they are the only source of this infection and at the same time they are at high risk of a more severe infection,” said Solante.

Encouraged everyone, especially the vulnerable population, to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to receive a booster vaccination after their primary vaccination.

The VEP member recalled when the Philippines confirmed four cases of the Omicron variant from travelers from other countries The World Health Organization previously said the Omicron variant has a total of 50 mutations, including 32 in the spike protein, suggesting its ability to increase virus transmissibility and affect vaccines.

You can find more news about the novel coronavirus here.
What you need to know about the coronavirus.

For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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