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DOH: Vaccines still effective against JN.1 COVID variant




MANILA, December 30 ------ The Department of Health (DOH) assured Monday that existing vaccines against COVID-19 remain effective against the new subvariant JN.1. "Wala pa kaming natatanggap na ebidensiya na 'yong bakunang natanggap natin, kahit na 'yong bagong bakuna sa ibang bansa, ay wala nang proteksiyon," Health Undersecretary Eric Tayag said in an interview with Teleradyo Serbisyo. 

  

Tayag made the statement a day after the DOH reported that it recorded 18 cases of JN.1, a subvariant of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, in the Philippines — all of which have already recovered. Even though the 18 cases have recovered, the DOH remains on guard against the subvariant, Tayag said. "Patuloy pa rin ang ating pagmamanman sapagkat nadeklara itong variant of interest ng World Health Organization," he said. 

  

As of now, the DOH also sees no reason to bring back the mandatory wearing of face masks, said Tayag. But the health official advised the public to still get vaccinated or boosted against COVID-19, and continue practicing health protocols such as handwashing and social distancing. 

  

In a separate interview, Philippine College of Physicians President Rontgene Solante said the symptoms of JN.1 infection do not differ from those of flu-like illnesses. These include coughs, fever and sore throat that usually last from three to five days, Solante said. "Mahirap siya (It's hard to diffirentiate JN.1) i-differentiate with other influenza-like illness symptoms," he said. 

  

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