MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the second booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine for the elderly, immunocompromised individuals, and frontline health workers, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Wednesday, April 13.
“This second booster dose shall be given at least four months after the first booster. For moderately and severely immunocompromised patients, the 2nd booster could be given earlier subject to the attending physician’s assessment,” the DOH said.
The DOH said that the National COVID-19 Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) is now drafting guidelines for implementation of the rollout.
Unlike other countries, like Australia, El Salvador, Germany, Israel, and the United Kingdom, the Philippines will also be giving additional booster dose to health workers.
The countries mentioned have limited the additional shot to the elderly and high-risk or those who have pre-existing conditions.
A study among health workers found that while antibodies significantly fell five months after a third shot, a fourth shot boosted it back up.
While it’s fine to keep in step with the latest vaccine developments, in the Philippines, the fourth dose comes as some 2.6 million elderly Filipinos have yet to get a their first dose at all.
Most experts Rappler has spoken to agree that, in a hierarchy of goals, reaching them should remain a priority.
With the approval of the second booster shot, the DOH said that the FDA recognized waning immunity in the specific populations. — with reports from Sofia Tomacruz/Rappler.com