Still no need for booster shots â DOH
A health worker inoculates a resident with a dose of the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine inside a Catholic church turned into a vaccination centre in Manila on May 21, 2021.
AFP/Ted Aljibe

Still no need for booster shots – DOH

Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - July 22, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — It’s still a no-go for booster shots despite the threat of a more transmissible Delta variant in the country, according to the Department of Health.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that in the absence of scientific evidence, experts are not recommending giving booster shots.

“According to the all-expert panel of the DOH, we are still not recommending booster doses because there is still incomplete evidence,” Vergeire said at a virtual briefing Tuesday.

Vergeire said the DOH will wait for the results of the ongoing studies of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) regarding booster doses as well as the mixing of different COVID-19 vaccine brands and platforms before coming out with the recommendation.

She said the DOST study is divided into three groups: those using same type of vaccines, those who will interchange vaccines and the high risk groups to be given booster shots.

“This is going to be for 18 months... This is what we will wait for. It’s going to take months before we can recommend,” Vergeire noted.

At this time, Vergeire said the DOH is also not inclined to give booster doses considering the low number of vaccinated individuals nationwide.

Over 15 million COVID-19 doses have so far been administered in the country – 10,388,188 were for first doses and 4,708,073 for second doses.

“We like to consider equity at this point because many have yet to get vaccinated. Once we start giving booster shots, it is likely that some of our countrymen won’t get jabbed,” Vergeire explained.

In a television interview yesterday, Vergeire also stressed that all vaccines being given in the ongoing immunization program are safe and effective.

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