COVID-19 Crisis: Infectious disease expert says 2nd booster shot only recommended for senior citizens and immunocompromised patients for now

If you are a resident of Metro Manila, have you been enjoying the additional freedom of movement and spending more time inside commercial establishments under the Alert Level 1 status that has been in effect since March 1, 2022? Whatever you do, do not forget to follow health protocols. Equally important, you must remember your current status of vaccination and if you are due for a 2nd booster shot (or the 4th shot if you have already received three doses of COVID-19 vaccines).

Even as the Philippines has a little over 10 million people who got their booster shots (3rd shot), the 2nd booster shot (meant for those who received three doses previously) is already being talked about according to recent GMA Network news report.

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

Infectious disease expert Dr. Rontgene Solante on Monday said the second booster shot is only recommended for senior citizens and immunocompromised for now, and not yet for the younger or general population.

“For the more vulnerable population, the 60 years old and above, and immunocompromised, ito ‘yung ina-ano natin ngayon na sana mabigyan ng pangalawang booster para talaga ang protection dito is against the severe form of COVID,” Solante said in a radio interview.

[We are pushing for a second booster shot for the more vulnerable population like the 60 years old and above and the immunocompromised, so they could get protected against the severe form of COVID-19.]

Solante then explained that the health experts’ advice remains for those who have completed their primary vaccine series to get one booster shot after three to six months.

“For the younger population, ‘yung tinatawag nating immunocompetent, I don’t think we need additional booster. With the ability of this vaccine to protect us against severe infection, alam naman talaga natin na pwede rin tayong mahawahan pero ang importante nito, hindi tayo mag-severe [we know that we can still be infected but the important thing is that it’s not severe],” he said.

“So I think, the first booster for the younger population may be enough. Wala pa tayong [we don’t have yet] recommendation for a second booster,” he added.

Health Undersecretary and National Vaccination Operations Center chairperson Dr. Myrna Cabotaje said on Saturday that vaccinations at local government units nationwide slowed down the past week, with some people losing the sense of urgency when it comes to booster shots.

This is why the priority for the fourth wave of the “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” national vaccination drive will be senior citizens who have not yet completed their primary dose series and those set for booster shots.

“Napaka-importante especially with the vulnerable population na sana pupunta kayo sa vaccination centers. ‘Yung hindi pa nagpa-booster, magpa-booster na kayo. ‘Yung hindi pa nagpabakuna, ito na ‘yung panahon na talagang kailangan na tayong magpabakuna,” Solante added.

[It is very important especially for the vulnerable population to go to vaccination centers. Those who have not received their booster shots yet, get it now. Those who have not been vaccinated, this is the time when we really need to be vaccinated.]

Currently, the Philippine government is administering third doses to senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals, while booster shots are given to those who completed the primary doses–single for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, double for the other bands.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this new development? If you have been boosted already, how long has it been since that happened? Do you remember the specific brands of vaccines of your first two doses and the booster dose?

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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