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The Philippine government is allowing adults to get their COVID-19 booster shot three months after their last of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, cutting in half the six-month waiting time. As for adults who got the one-dose Janssen vaccine, they can get a booster two months after, from the initial three months.
The new policy, announced by the Department of Health on Tuesday, December 21, takes effect starting Wednesday, December 22.
“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,” reads the statement.
The DOH stressed that 12 to 17-year-olds are not yet recommended to get booster shots at this time.
This age group only started receiving COVID-19 vaccine shots in late October, while the national rollout for the age group began in early November.
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, though experts say more study is needed. Booster shots are believed to beef up the ability of vaccines to ward off worrisome variants, or at least decrease chances of severe illness.
There is currently no detected local transmission of Omicron in the Philippines, but the variant was found in three persons who had arrived from abroad. Some 40% of the country’s population of 110 million are fully-vaccinated. – Rappler.com