COVID-19 vaccines

Thinking of getting a booster shot? Here’s useful information

Rappler.com
Thinking of getting a booster shot? Here’s useful information

GETTING A BOOST. Residents queue at a vaccination site in Manila in December to receive COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

Rappler

(3rd UPDATE) Check this guide for how you could get a booster and what you should expect after

We’ve been hearing a lot about boosters and third doses recently, especially with reports about rising Omicron cases in Europe, the United States, and Hong Kong. In the Philippines, how does one get a booster and where? What are the requirements and processes involved?

The Department of Health recently announced that, effective December 22, fully-vaccinated adults aged 18 and above could “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 2 months after Janssen.”

Check this guide below on how you could get a booster and what you should expect after getting boosted, based on the experience of people who have gotten their additional jabs. 

Before getting a booster

A booster is an additional dose of a vaccine given after the protection mounted by initial doses starts to wane. Especially among the elderly and high-risk population, boosters can help preserve the health system by reinforcing protection against severe COVID-19 outcomes. 

According to the DOH, the following vaccines have been cleared to be used as an additional shot:

Thinking of getting a booster shot? Here’s useful information

To get your COVID-19 booster, you will need to register with a local government unit (LGU) to secure a schedule to receive your additional dose. 

The DOH earlier said that all senior citizens or those in the A2 priority group eligible to get a boosted may walk-in any vaccination site to get their vaccine. But it’s best to check with your LGU if this is possible, or if walk-ins are also allowed for the general population, since local officials charged with implementing vaccinations may tweak guidelines depending on manpower and resources on hand. 

You will also need to bring the following:

  • A valid government ID that bears the same name as your vaccination card
  • Original copy of your primary series vaccination card

After registering, you will receive either an email, text message, or QR code confirming your schedule. 

For a Moderna booster, you can register with https://vax.captivate.ph. All requirements are spelled out on the website. For fully vaccinated adults, you should bring with you the following:

  • A valid government ID that bears the same name as your vaccination card
  • An appointment or QR code that will be emailed to you after successful registration (you can download on your phone or print it out)
  • Original copy of your primary series vaccination card

After registration, you should receive emails and a text message from eZConsult confirming your registration, account details, and appointment time and date for your booster shot.

Sponsored by the Solaire ICTSI Foundation Inc. and Nayong Pilipino Foundation, vaccination and booster shots can be availed of for free via a drive-through at the Solaire-ICTSI-Nayong Pilipino mega vaccination center. Boosters are offered to all adults who received their second dose at least three months ago or two months if the Janssen vaccine was used. No walk-ins are allowed, and pre-registration is required. 

If you’re getting a Moderna booster at the Solaire Resort and Casino Site through ICTSI, you’ll need to register through your company, which placed the vaccine orders. After this, you’ll receive an email and text message from eZConsult containing details of your schedule and a QR code for your vaccination. 

During booster vaccination

Depending on the vaccine site, expect the possibility of lines similar to when you got your first two doses. Some sites may have separate lines for seniors, persons with disabilities, and those getting their second dose, while others may also have just a single line to wait in. 

You will go through the same registration and screening process where vaccination teams will ask questions about your health record. 

DRIVE THRU VACCINATION. At the Solaire-ICTSI Vaccination Center, booster shots and primary dose vaccines are being offered for free. Rappler photo

For those receiving a Moderna vaccine as their booster through ICTSI, the Nayong Pilipino mega vaccination center is a drive-thru facility located on Seaside Drive, Tambo, Parañaque. Those receiving their booster at Solaire can get their shots via drive-thru at the complex’s parking space. 

Because the line of vehicles to the vaccination centers can be long, it is best to be there an hour or more before your appointed time. You will be asked for your QR code, vaccination card, and government ID bearing the same name as your QR code and vaccination card. Your QR code will be scanned by staff on hand who will ask for the other requirements. 

Once cleared, you will be given two sheets of paper: a health form and a consent form, which you should fill up while queueing in your vehicle. You will be directed to a corresponding lane for booster shots and will just have to wait for your turn. 

While waiting in that line, you will again be asked for your QR code and the same government ID and to confirm that you are lining up for a booster shot. Once you near the vaccination tent, another staff will approach your vehicle and ask for your health form and tell you to indicate on the top right of your consent form your patient ID number (specified in the QR code and the email sent confirming your appointment) and on which arm you wish to be injected. These two sheets of paper and your vaccination card will be collected prior to the injection itself. 

Before you are actually injected, you will be asked questions about your health and possible comorbidities. You need not step out of your vehicle, unless the arm you want injected is opposite the staff injecting you. 

After vaccination

Once you’ve gotten your booster, officials will monitor you for 15 to 30 minutes to watch out for any serious adverse events following immunization. After observation is completed, you will be free to go with a vaccination card that includes details of the booster. 

GETTING A BOOST. Residents queue at a vaccination site in Manila in December 2021 to receive COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

For those at Solaire, your primary series vaccination card will be returned to you after getting your booster. You’ll then receive a text message notifying you that you’ve been boosted and an email with your vaccination card indicating details of your booster. Your profile on the eZConsult application will also be immediately updated. 

You’ll then be directed to an area where you can wait in your car for post-vaccination monitoring. Officials on site will monitor you for 10 to 15 minutes and after observation is complete, you’ll be able to leave the site. 

For those at Nayong Pilipino, your primary series vaccination card should be returned to you, along with a temporary COVID-19 vaccination card which provides the specifics of your booster shot. In general, no observation time post-injection will be required, unless perhaps you have comorbidities. And you’re done!

Over the next few days, you may feel some side effects like a sore arm, fatigue, chills, headache, and body aches. But these minor side effects are normal and signs that the body’s immune system is working.

According to the World Health Organization, you can take a paracetamol or other painkillers if you develop side effects after vaccination.

The side effects usually go away on their own in one day to three days. If they do not go away after a few days or seem to be getting worse, consult a healthcare professional.

– with reports from Chay Hofileña, Sofia Tomacruz, Vernise Tantuco, Jodesz Gavilan, Jee Geronimo, Lian Buan, Inday Varona, Marga Deona, Chito dela Vega, Russel Ku/Rappler.com