COVID-19 Crisis: Comorbid patients should be declared eligible for 2nd booster shot

As there are indications that the daily count of new cases of COVID-19 in the National Capital Region (NCR) here in the Philippines is climbing up (read here and here) and that the Omicron subvariant is slowly infecting more people, a recommendation to declare comorbid patients eligible for the 2nd booster shot (note: the 4th shot for most brands of COVID-19 vaccines) has been made, according to an article published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). It remains to be seen how fast the national authorities in-charge of COVID-19 vaccination operations will respond.

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

The number of ailments in a person should also be considered as criteria for second booster eligibility, the country’s Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) said Wednesday.

In a Laging Handa briefing, VEP chairperson Nina Gloriani said a person who has two or more diseases is similarly vulnerable to severe coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“We agree, we actually recommend na ‘yong mga may comorbidities (masama) kasi hindi rin natin malaman ano ang level ng immunocompromised na tinatawag sa comorbidity (We agree, we actually recommend that those with comorbidity should be eligible because we don’t really know the level of immunocompromised among those with comorbidity),” she said.

Gloriani cited a recent study showing that for those with two or more ailments, such as diabetes and chronic respiratory illness, the level of immunocompromise is higher.

“Mas mataas ang immunocompromise ng taong ‘yon so kailangan nating ma-consider ‘yon sa pagbibigay ng second booster as well. Hindi necessarily sinabi nating parang wala siyang immunocompromise, kailangan malaman natin ‘yong medical status plus how many ba ‘yan (Their immunocompromise is higher so we should also consider that when giving second booster. We need to know their medical status and the number of their disease),” she said.

At present, immunocompromised persons who are eligible for a second booster include those who have cancer, HIV/AIDS, primary immunodeficiency, those who take immunosuppressants, and those who received an organ transplant.

Let me end this by asking you readers: Do you believe it is high time for comorbid patients to be declared eligible to receive 2nd booster shots? Do you think that the national authorities in-charge of vaccination operations should give comorbid patients the green light for 2nd booster shots? Are there many comorbid patients in your local community who successfully received their first booster shots already? Did any anti-vaccine fanatic out there bother you lately?

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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