Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said the vaccine expert panel will shortly recommend a shorter interval between the administration of the booster shot doses and the second dose of the primary series of Covid-19 jabs.
“I already spoke to the head of the vaccine expert panel, Dr. Nina Gloriani. She told me they will officially recommend a three-month interval between the second dose and the booster dose,” Duque said in a media briefing.
The six-month interval, he said could be shortened to three or four months which would apply to all vaccine brands approved as booster doses.
In a separate online media forum, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said pronouncements on the shortened interval are still considered “theoretical” as pieces of evidence on more protection it could provide remain incomplete.
“All these are initial studies, but of course the government can always decide on this,” she added, noting that the country’s health and vaccine experts have previously recommended shortened interval between the administration of booster shots and second dose of primary series of Covid-19 jabs only for immune-compromised individuals.
“They need to be given booster doses within 28 days or more because they need it and that’s the only one backed by scientific evidence,” she said.
The DOH, however, has already asked the Food and Drug Administration to check all scientific evidences and if the vaccine expert panel can already recommend shortening the interval because of the threats posed by the variants of concern, Vergeire added.
To date, all adults could receive an additional Covid-19 jab six months after their second dose of AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Sputnik V, or Sinovac vaccine. Those who received Janssen shots need to wait for three months only.