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DOH announces shorter interval for COVID-19 booster shots to three months

By Brooke Villanueva Published Dec 22, 2021 10:20 am

The interval for COVID-19 booster shots in the Philippines has been shortened from six months to three months after the second jab effective today, Dec. 22, the Department of Health announced.

In a press statement, the health agency said that boosters may now be given to adults at least three months after the second dose of a primary two-dose vaccine (AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinovac, or Sputnik) or at least two months after the primary single-dose vaccine (Janssen) is administered.

The Food and Drug Administration has given the green light to the new policy, following the recommendation of vaccine experts in the country.

“We are exploring all possible options to safely mitigate the effects of more transmissible variants of COVID-19. The approval came at an opportune time as several countries also re-strategized in light of the Omicron and other COVID-19 variants that may emerge,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

Duque called on LGUs to continue encouraging their constituents—especially seniors and individuals with comorbidities who are at higher risk of developing severe infection—to get their jabs. “Ensuring enough coverage of the primary series while adhering to the minimum public health standards are crucial if we want to maintain low to minimal risk classification and have adequate health systems capacities especially during the holiday season,” he added.

AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, and Sinovac are currently being administered to those who are eligible to get their booster shots. There is no recommendation yet for 12-17 years old.

As of Sunday, Dec. 19, over 44.2 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Around 1,153,103 shots have been given as booster doses according to DOH data as of Dec. 20.