Is the Philippines going to give fully vaccinated individuals a third dose or booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine soon?
Dr. Jaime Montoya, executive director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, said during a PTV-4 interview there are many factors to consider including data on declining efficacy of vaccines after 6 to 8 months and the global supply of vaccines.
Montoya said it was people’s moral obligation to ask whether we’re willing to give a third jab to those who have already received two doses, or first vaccinate all Filipinos to achieve “herd immunity.”
He said the booster shot was being studied with experts and the DOH before they issue a statement regarding the matter.
Some countries are set to give booster shots to their priority groups this month. Singapore is set to give the third jab, prioritizing the elderly and those with weak immune systems as a precautionary measure especially with the Delta variant outbreak.
On Sept. 4, Brazil started giving booster shots according, to AP News. Among other countries that have started or will soon start their third jab are the US, UK, China, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, according to Forbes. Others are The Czech Republic, Germany, and Israel, according to The New York Times.
The United States is giving people booster shots eight months after their second dose. Israel says it’s for everyone aged 12 and above. The Czech Republic and Singapore are giving it first to people older than 60. Germany and France are prioritizing elderly people with underlying conditions.
The Delta variant and the “waning immunity” of previous vaccine recipients have pushed the need for the third jab, according to The Scientist.
Countries that are first to roll out are mostly industrialized nations that have more fully vaccinated people, while developing countries such as Brazil has only fully vaccinated 30.7% of its population, and the Philippines only 12.7%, according to Our World In Data.
World Health Organization (WHO) head Dr. Tedros Adhanom expressed his concerns about “wealthier nations” giving booster shots while poorer countries were still unable to vaccinate most people on their lists of priority groups—the Philippines, included.