Philippines shortens gap between COVID-19 booster shot and last dose
By ROGER M. BALANZA
As protection against the deadly Omicron variant, Pinoys will get COVID-19 booster shots three months after completing their two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, said the Department of Health (DOH).
The new policy, announced by the health agency on Tuesday, December 21, will take effect on Wednesday, December 22.
The new government ppolicy cuts in half the 6-month period before adults who got the two-dose jabs can have their booster shots.
DOH adds that adults who got the one-dose Janssen vaccine can get booster shots two months after, a month ahead of the previous three- month waiting period.
“Following the amended Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccine boosters, the Department of Health would like to inform the public that all adults (ages 18 and above) are now eligible to receive a single-dose booster of COVID-19 vaccine at least three months after the second dose of AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinovac or Sputnik vaccine or at least two months after Janssen effective 22 December 2021,” DOH said in the statement.
Cutting waiting time for booster shots is apparently sparked by the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Booster shots are believed to beef up the ability of vaccines to ward off worrisome variants, or at least decrease chances of severe illness.
The spread of Omicron in Europe, the US, Africa, and some parts of Asia were a factor in the new rules.
The new COVID-19 variant is said to be twice as transmissible as the Delta variant and may be able to evade certain vaccines.