Vaccination is the key to mitigating the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, an Israeli health expert underscored on Friday.
Dr. Guy Choshen, Infectious Disease and Covid-19 specialist of the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, said both the Philippines and Israel have shared common responses and strategies to contain the virus, such as similar treatment and quarantine guidelines.
“There are other more specific issues that we have discussed regarding the implementation of the local guidelines and practices of treating patients with Covid-19,” Chosen said in a virtual press briefing right after discussions on the implementation of pandemic response actions.
Chosen said the key is for the government to expand the vaccination campaign.
“The main issue is the vaccination and we can see that the Philippine government and the Department of Health (DOH) is pushing up the campaign on the vaccination and this is an opportunity for the citizens of the Philippines to cooperate with this campaign and getting vaccinated because this is the main way that we can mitigate the pandemic,” he said.
DOH Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega, also the testing czar, said the Philippines and Israel have similar response mechanisms — from the clinical side down to the prevent, isolate, and test strategies.
Vega pointed out that Israel has vaccinated about 90 percent of its population, which made them invulnerable to the disease and even to the threat of the Delta variant.
Despite a case surge of Delta infections in Israel, officials see fewer people falling seriously ill than before.
The Philippines continues to inoculate vulnerable sectors that include health care workers, the elderly, and adults with co-morbidities.
Vega said the government is working nonstop to speed up the inoculation program despite limited supply and achieve the target to jab 70.8 million Filipinos this year.
To date, the country has received 32,360,700 doses of Covid-19 vaccines and administered 18,174,405 doses.
“I think we are on the right track. We are just a bit late, but we will be there,” Vega said. (Lade Jean Kabagani/PNA)