DOST’s expert panel: Get your second COVID-19 vaccine shots as soon as possible

Published June 28, 2021, 9:24 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

With the continued threat of coronavirus disease (COVID) and its more transmissible variants, the country’s vaccine expert panel (VEP) urged Monday, June 28, those who have already received the first dose of coronavirus vaccines to get their second dose “as soon as possible.”

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) VEP chief Dr. Nina Gloriani encouraged individuals to follow the prescribed interval between COVID-19 vaccine doses, even as she noted that the “leeway” for those who missed their second shot is about three to six months.

“Sabi ko nga ’yung ibang mga bakuna, mas mahabang interval, mas mataas ang antibody, pero wag natin hintayin ang ganun kahaba, ASAP (as soon as possible) pag puwede na kayo (As I’ve said the other vaccines, the longer the interval the higher the antibody, but let’s not wait that long, you can receive your second dose ASAP),” she said in an interview with TeleRadyo on Monday.

She said individuals who missed their second COVID-19 vaccine shot can still get it “three months, even six months” after their first jab.

“Meron pa tayong parang leeway mga three months, even six months, puwede pa. Pero ‘wag natin patatagalin. Ang kaso ‘di naman bumababa, akyat-baba ang ating kaso even sa NCR, nandyan ang variants, yan ang sinasabi natin, yan ang nagpapadami ngayon sa mga kaso sa ibang bansa ayaw natin mangyari yan sa atin (We still have a leeway for about 3 months, even 6 months, you can still receive it, but don’t take too long. The number of cases is not decreasing, our case goes up and down even in NCR. There are variants, which are causing a surge in the number of cases in other countries. We don’t want that to happen to us),” Gloriani said.

She said among the reasons why some vaccinees missed their second dose were either they were sick, or they had to attend to urgent pressing matters.

“Mas importante po na mayroong protection at least two doses po wag pong isa lang. Nandun pa rin ang ating mga minimum public health precautions, hindi pa po natin maiaalis pa yan siguro hanggang end of the year or even early next year (It is more important that we have full protection at least two doses, not just one. Our minimum public health precautions should be observed maybe until the end of the year or even early next year),” the expert said.

Gloriani cited the crucial role of the local government units (LGUs) in ensuring that their constituents complete their two-dose regimen.

“Actually, ang LGU sinusundan sila, may follow up, may paalala, may reminder (Actually, the LGUs should monitor them, there’s follow up, they should remind them),” she said.