DOH says more evidence needed for 3rd dose of COVID-19 vaccine
MANILA, Philippines — More evidence is necessary to determine if a third COVID-19 vaccine dose will be needed within a year of getting fully vaccinated as mentioned by the chief executive officer of Pfizer, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.
“We need sufficient evidence to say if additional doses are required, if booster doses are required for any type of vaccine,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online media forum.
In an interview with CNBC, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said people will “likely” need a third or booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine within 12 months of getting fully vaccinated.
“A likely scenario is that there will be likely a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months and then from there, there will be annual revaccination, but all of that needs to be confirmed. And again, the variants will play a key role,” said Bourla.
“It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus,” he added.
But according to Vergeire, the DOH still has to await recommendations from the World Health Organization and other international reputable institutions regarding the matter.
“Until we can have this complete information or evidence, we are going to do the status quo. Magbabakuna tayo nang magbabakuna, pabibilisin natin ang ating pagbabakuna, ieexpand natin siya [We will continue the vaccination. We will hasten and expand it],” she said.
The country has so far administered over 1.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines out of over 3 million doses so far secured by the government.
In February, the DOH agreed that there could be a need to vaccinate people against COVID-19 yearly or in a longer interval considering that the coronavirus that causes the disease is mutating.
Johnson & Johnson Chief Executive Officer Alex Gorsky also earlier said in a CNBC interview that people may need to get vaccinated against COVID-19 annually over the next several years, just like in seasonal flu shots.
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