MANILA, Philippines – Due to the detection of the Philippines’ first Omicron BA.2.12 case on Thursday, April 28, the Department of Health (DOH) recommended the public receive their COVID-19 booster injection as soon as possible.
“Omicron BA.2.12 reminds us that the virus is still out there and cases can go up the moment we let our guard down. The DOH thus implores the public to get boosted ASAP, as immunity is proven to wane over time,” the agency said.
Omicron BA.2.12 has not yet been designated as a variation of interest or concern by the World Health Organization. According to preliminary research, BA.2.12 maybe 20% more transmissible than BA.2, the most common subvariant of Omicron in the Philippines and elsewhere.
There is currently insufficient evidence to determine whether BA.2.12 can result in more severe symptoms.
The Philippines began delivering a fourth dosage, or second booster injection, to immunocompromised patients aged 18 and up on Monday, April 25. (READ: On April 25, the Philippines will begin rolling out the COVID-19 2nd booster injection.)
The first case of Omicron BA.2.12 in the Philippines is a 52-year-old Finnish woman who arrived in the country on April 2. She conducted talks at a university in Quezon City and subsequently in Baguio City while in the Philippines. She began to feel moderate symptoms such as a headache and sore throat nine days after arriving in the nation.
The Department of Health stated it had tracked down 44 of the case’s close associates. BA.2.12 is “2.5 times more infectious but not more severe” than the original Omicron variety, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
This new development occurs as the country’s daily infection rate remains below 500. In less than two weeks, millions of Filipinos will go to polling stations to vote in the national elections on May 9.