Dosing schedule for COVID-19 vaccine must be strictly followed – DOH

Published February 3, 2021, 4:16 PM

by Analou de Vera

The recommended schedule for the administration of the two doses of COVID-19 vaccine should be strictly followed to achieve the necessary protection against the illness, the Department of Health (DOH) said. 


“Ang sinasabi ng mga eksperto kapag mas pinatagal po natin itong pagbibigay ng second dose compared doon sa required na dosing schedule, baka magkaroon ng tinatawag na escaped mutation na maaaring makaapekto doon sa efficacy (rate) ng bakuna [Experts say that if we prolong the administration of the second dose compared to the required dosing schedule, there may be a so-called escaped mutation that could affect the efficacy (rate) of the vaccine],” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire. 

To avoid this, it is imperative to follow the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the dosing schedule. 

The FDA has so far approved coronavirus vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca for emergency use in the Philippines. The two vaccines have different dosing schedules, said Vergeire. 

The second dose of  the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must be given  21 days after the first dose was administered. For AstraZeneca, the second dose is administered four to 12 weeks after the first dose was given, said Vergeire.

“Mas maganda na po na susundin na natin iyong schedule na sinabi ng EUA (emergency use authorization) at iyong indikasyon noong bakuna na iyon [It would be better if we follow the schedule stated by the EUA or the vaccine’s indication],” said Vergeire.

Case update

On Wednesday, the DOH confirmed additional 1,266  cases of COVID-19 nationwide. 

The total number of cases in the country since the pandemic began has already reached 530,118, of which, 31,445 are still active cases. 

Meanwhile,  there were a total of 487,721 people who have recovered from the disease, including the 130 new survivors that were recorded by the DOH. 

However, 68 new deaths related to COVID-19 were reported, raising the death toll to 10,942.