Expert to DOH: Change definition of ‘fully vaxxed’
An infectious disease expert wanted the government to change the definition of fully vaccinated individuals to include a booster shot aside from the two shots of primary vaccines.
Dr. Rontgene Solante, Vaccine Expert Panel member, said the move would encourage more Filipinos to get booster shots.
“We have to change the definition of fully vaccinated that will now include primary vaccine series, plus the booster,” Solante said at the Laging Handa briefing on Friday, adding that the government has enough supply of booster shots.
He also proposed that the government encourage or even require on-site workers to get their booster shots.
“Another solution is maybe we can require workplaces that if their employees return to work, to require or encourage them to get booster shots,” he said.
Data from the Department of Health (DOH) showed that at least 33 million Filipinos eligible for additional vaccines have yet to get their booster shots.
The DOH said last week that health workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities might receive their second booster shot by the end of April.
Solante warned that there could be a surge in COVID-19 cases after the elections or two to three months from now due to superspreader events and the easing of restrictions.
He also warned of waning immunity in individuals who have not been inoculated with booster shots.
He said getting booster shots would also shorten the period for a COVID-19 positive to experience long-haul COVID-19 symptoms.
“There is also data that the long COVID can be prevented with vaccination. When you are vaccinated and you have long COVID, the symptoms get shorter,” he said.
Health Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire, for her part, said changing the definition of fully vaccinated would only “cause confusion.”
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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.
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