The Department of Health is looking into reports that the novel coronavirus disease can have an impact on male fertility.
“We are studying this carefully. We have asked experts to look into this and give us an appropriate explanation,” Health Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire said.
“We will release an explanation next week,” she added.
A series of autopsy studies has shown that there is evidence of testes damage from COVID-19.
Researchers from the University of Miami in Florida found that testes tissues of six men who died of COVID-19 had damages that could lead to infertility.
A separate research team from China, on the other hand, found that some COVID-19 patients’ immune systems “attacked” the testes, causing severe inflammation, or orchitis.
Daily case log remains below 2,000
The Philippines logged on Saturday 1,893 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 427,797 as eleven laboratories failed to submit data on time, the Department of Health said.
Top cities and provinces with new cases are Davao City, 200; Negros Occidental, 123; Western Samar, 84; Pampanga, 60; and Quezon City, 57.
The DOH reported 31,402 active cases, which is 7.3 percent of the total infections.
The DOH also recorded 474 new recoveries, bringing the total to 388,062, or 90.7 percent of the total cases.
PH won’t use vaccines not rolled out in country of origin
The country’s vaccine czar, Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. said AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine would still undergo stringent clinical trial in the Philippines.
“We will not use a vaccine that has not rolled out in its country or origin. Don’t worry because we have a process. We have a high regulatory process,” he said.
The Philippines will get 2.6 million doses of AstraZenica’s vaccine, which will enable it to inoculate 1.3 million people next year.
Galvez said the private sector will cover the cost of the vaccine, under a tripartite agreement between the Philippine government, the private sector and the British pharmaceutical company AstraZenica.
He said negotiations were ongoing for another 1 million doses of the vaccine.
AstraZeneca-Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine has been found 70 percent effective against COVID-19 at first dose, but it increases to 90 percent after the second dose is administered a month after the first dose.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine is expected to cost $3 to $4 a dose, much cheaper than drugs being developed by American companies Pfizer and Moderna, and does not need to be stored in ultra-low temperatures.