DOH: 9% of people who got 1st COVID shot defer on 2nd dose
MANILA, Philippines — Only nine percent of individuals who got their first dose of the anti-COVID vaccine, or around 113,000 people, have deferred to get their second shot, the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday.
The DOH made this clarification after Dr. John Wong, an epidemiologist and member of the IATF’s sub-technical working group on data analytics, earlier said in a town hall forum that half of those who have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine may be missing out on their second shot.
In making this estimate, Wong cited the number of people who showed up to get their second shot from Sinovac and Gamaleya Research Institute.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, however, said the data presented during the event were independent assessments by health experts and may differ from actual numbers on the ground.
“The reported missed schedules for 2nd dose are estimates and based on certain assumptions. According to the National COVID-19 Vaccination Operations Center, actual numbers show that 9% of people have deferred their second dose, roughly 113,000 individuals, and the most common reasons for such deferrals include: getting sick, getting exposed to someone positive for COVID-19, or undergoing quarantine,” Vergeire.
She said the percentage also goes down as local government units reach out to these vaccine recipients, who eventually end up getting the second dose.
Vergeire also noted that assessments from independent expert groups enable the government to continuously validate data and improve the implementation of the national vaccination program.
“What was presented was part of an independent assessment of the vaccine prioritization of the national COVID-19 vaccination program. It validated our prioritization criteria and showed that prioritizing the health care workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities will save lives as they are the most at risk for hospitalization and death caused by COVID-19,” she added.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that those who missed their scheduled second dose can still get vaccinated with their second shot. He also reminded the public to complete the required doses for better protection against COVID-19.
“In fact, we urge you to coordinate with your LGUs to reschedule your vaccination. Makukuha lang natin ang proteksyon ng mga bakuna laban sa COVID-19 sa kumpletong doses [We can only get full protection from vaccines against COVID-19 if we get complete doses],” said Duque.
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