A longer wait between the first and second doses will yield a stronger immune response, the head of the country’s vaccine expert panel said Saturday, June 12.
During the Laging Handa briefing, Dr. Nina Gloriani, chairperson of the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Vaccine Expert Panel, said longer intervals between COVID-19 vaccine doses gives more time for more antibodies to form.
“Pag mas mahaba yung interval between doses, mas may time na dumami yung antibodies, so meron tayong b cells na nagiging plasma cells na syang gagawa ng antibodies The longer the interval between doses, the more time the antibodies have to multiply. So we have b cells that become plasma cells that make antibodies). So you’re giving them more time to produce more antibodies,” Gloriani said.
Gloriani added that a missed vaccination appointment should not hinder Filipinos from completing their coronavirus disease (COVID-19) shot.
“As soon as ma-realize nila na medyo nahuhuli na sila, bumalik na po dun sa vaccination center at mapabakuna. Di naman po uulitin yung first dose, pero mabuting makapunta sila agad. Di sila dapat mabahala kung dalawa, tatlong buwan hindi pa naman magiging problema yun (As soon as they realize that they are a little late, then they should immediately go back to the vaccination center to get vaccinated. You will no longer have to take the first dose again, but you should get your second dose immediately. They shouldn’t worry if they missed their appointment by two or three months),” she underscored.
The expert also urged Filipinos who have taken their first dose, to get the required second shot to achieve full protection against COVID-19.
About 1.6 million Filipinos have so far been fully vaccinated against the virus, according to the Department of Health.
The Philippines has already administered 6.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with 4.6 million given as first doses and 1.6 million as second dose.