Seniors better protected with 4th COVID-19 vaccine shot – DOH
MANILA, Philippines — Seniors and individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised will get better protection against COVID-19 if they get a second booster shot — that is, a fourth vaccination shot, according to a Department of Health (DOH) statement on Tuesday.
According to DOH, the recommendation comes from the fact that there is a “decrease in antibody titers seen in studies and their increased risk towards morbidities when infected with COVID-19.”
The DOH recommends getting the second booster shot four months after the first booster shot.
The fourth shot will also benefit individuals who are at a very high risk of exposure to COVID-19 cases such as healthcare workers and airport personnel.
People who are young and healthy, meanwhile, are not likely to benefit much from a fourth dose when faced with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the DOH said.
However, it stressed that health experts have not reached a consensus on the fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose.
“The references and recommendations provided will be forwarded to the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) for assessment and concurrence,” the DOH said. “The DOH plans to engage its community of experts within the month to come up with evidence-based and data-driven recommendations with regard to the 2nd booster dose.”
Before the consensus is reached, the DOH said that it would first focus on the fourth national COVID-19 vaccination drive.
The drive — dubbed “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” — will prioritize far-flung areas with low vaccination rates.
According to its weekly COVID-19 data report of the DOH, fully-vaccinated individuals now total 63,690,701, which is 70.76% of the target population), with 598,206 additional individuals from Feb. 28 to March 6.
Individuals with booster shots number 10,554,093 with 416,218 additional individuals in the same period.
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