July 18, 2024

The Department of Health is studying the administration of a second booster shot to fully vaccinated senior citizens and individuals with comorbidities, a health official said.
Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire made this statement after the vaccine expert panel (VEP) recommended a second booster shot or fourth dose of Covid-19 jabs to the concerned priority groups.
“The recommendation of a second booster dose for senior citizens and the moderate to severely immunocompromised individuals stems from the decrease in antibody titers seen in studies and their increased risk towards morbidities when infected with Covid-19,” Vergeire said.
The second booster is recommended to be administered four months after the first booster dose to further increase the protection against the disease.
“People who are young and healthy and don’t have risk factors will probably not benefit much from a fourth dose when faced with Omicron,” Vergeire said.
National Task Force Against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon earlier said they support the recommendation of the VEP to inoculate an additional fourth dose or second booster shot for the senior citizens and the immunocompromised.
The DOH has received the official recommendation of the Department of Science and Technology-VEP for a fourth dose for the moderately and severely immunocompromised, and individuals most vulnerable to severe forms of Covid-19 such as the elderly.
“Recommendations also state that a fourth dose or second booster dose is beneficial for individuals who are at very high risk of exposure to Covid-19 cases such as healthcare workers, airport personnel, and the like,” Vergeire said.
The references and recommendations provided will be forwarded to the Health Technology Assessment Council for assessment and concurrence, she added.
The DOH has planned to engage its community of experts within the month to come up with evidence-based and data driven-recommendations about the second booster dose. – PNA