The government is urged to authorize the administration of booster shots of the vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) four months after the second dose in order to “preserve the significant immunity of the population” from which the country currently benefits.
The nonprofit advocacy group Go Negosyo and the independent research group OCTA made the call at the public meeting âVAX to the MAX: Preventing the Surgeâ held on December 15th.
âWeâ¦ recommend that the national government consider shortening the interval between the second dose and the booster dose from 6 months to 4 months,â Joey Concepcion, Presidential Entrepreneurship Advisor and founder of Go Negosyo, and researcher OCTA Fr. Nicanor Austriaco said in a joint statement.
The groups argued that “there is data to suggest that acquired immunity to COVID-19 vaccines declines significantly around five months, sometimes earlier depending on the brand of vaccine.”
“Shortening the time between the second dose and the booster dose, especially today when the Philippines has a surplus of vaccines, would preserve the important immunity of the population which is currently mitigating the pandemic in the country,” said they pointed out.
Austriaco said the government must prepare to stimulate all Filipinos by the first or second quarter of 2022 to avoid a massive increase. He cited recent announcements from Denmark showing that the vaccine’s efficacy begins to wane after five months and will give booster shots at 4.5 months.
Concepcion, on the other hand, said the Philippines has the tools to deal with the threat of declining vaccine protection among the population.
âWe have the vaccines, and it will be those vaccines that will create this wall of protection,â he said.
âWe don’t want to wait until our immunity is lost, it will make our kababayans more vulnerable,â Austriaco said. “In view of the oversupply, our country should consider closing the gap to further protect our kababayans in the coming months.”
Concepcion and Austriaco’s joint statement also cited recent data from South Africa which âsuggests that the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV2 is indeed more transmissible and more immunitatively evasive. It is likely to trigger an outbreak when it arrives in the Philippines.
He added, however, that the South African experience also suggests that patients infected with the Omicron variant experienced milder symptoms than those infected with the Delta variant.
Concepcion and Austriaco also recommended that the country’s vaccination campaign “continue to focus on increasing the immunity of the population in our first-class cities and municipalities, especially the urban areas surrounding our international gateways. , including all airports and seaports â.
This, he said, will delay the spread of Omicron when it arrives, stressing that “the important protection of the population in the urban areas of our country will also help to protect our farming communities and our kababayans living in the countryside,” many of whom have not yet been vaccinated.
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