DOH: 33M eligible Filipinos yet to receive COVID-19 booster shot
MANILA, Philippines — Thirty-three million Filipinos eligible for COVID-19 booster shots have yet to receive the additional vaccine dose, the Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday.
According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, only 11.8 million out of 45 million Filipinos who are already eligible for booster shots have so far received an additional COVID-19 vaccine jab.
“Our eligible population for our booster shot is about 45 million. That would be less the pediatric population and the adolescents. So we have about 33 million still to receive their booster shots who are already eligible,” she said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart.
Vergeire said the DOH conducted “small studies or surveys” to identify why some fully vaccinated people are not taking booster shots.
She said the DOH found out that some people believe they already have enough protection against COVID-19 because they have been fully vaccinated and because of natural immunity from coronavirus infection.
“But I just want to inform everybody that immunity wanes,” the official noted.
“Both the natural immunity and the immunity coming from our vaccines wane over time. That’s why we are offering the boosters because based on studies, it gives you additional protection especially for severe [infection], deaths, and hospitalizations,” she added.
According to government data released on Thursday, 65.5 million Filipinos have already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Based on government guidelines, COVID-19 booster shots may be given to adults at least three months after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine, or at least two months after the administration of a one-dose vaccine.