COVID-19 Crisis: 3rd vaccine shots for health workers and vulnerable sector members planned by government

Is there a health worker or a member of the vulnerable sector among the members of your local community right now? You might want to inform them that the national authorities are planning to administer to each of them a third shot (or 3rd dose) of the COVID-19 vaccine according to a recent news report published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). It could happen sooner than later. This particular development should make you think about how long the immunity you gained from the COVID-19 vaccine – specifically when you have been vaccinated with two doses most brands of COVID-19 vaccines – would last before you need to be vaccinated again.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA news report. Some parts in boldface…

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. on Tuesday said the government is planning to begin administering a third dose of Covid-19 vaccine for the healthcare workers and the country’s vulnerable sector by November or early December.

“Ito po pineprepare na namin ni (Health Secretary Francisco) Duque, dahil nagbigay na po ng inclination ang WHO (World Health Organization), na ‘yung ating vaccination for third dosing, considering na maglalapse na po ‘yung immunity (Duque and I are already preparing [revaccination] since the WHO has already given its inclination for the vaccination for third dosing, considering that the immunity will lapse,” Galvez reported to President Rodrigo Duterte during the taped Talk to the People.

“Maybe we can start by November or early December,” he added.

The Department of Health (DOH) is awaiting the WHO’s official recommendation to give additional doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to immunocompromised persons, senior citizens, and healthcare workers.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the WHO is expected to release its final recommendation by November.

Vergeire clarified that booster shots and additional doses are different and the WHO has yet to recommend a third shot for the general population.

According to experts, a booster shot is an additional dose after the protection of the original shot(s) has decreased over time, while a third shot is for those with certain health conditions to help further protect them from severe Covid-19 case or death.

Following a four-day meeting, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization on Oct. 11 said those with weakened immunity should receive an additional shot.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this latest development? If you were fully vaccinated, how long has it been since your 2nd dose? Do you fully trust the WHO?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.


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