COVID-19 booster shots not yet recommended, says DOH

Published July 12, 2021, 1:39 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, July 12, reiterated that it is not yet recommending the use of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine booster shots as there is still insufficient evidence that it will be safe.

A vial of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. (BioNTech/Handout via Xinhua)

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire stressed that the DOH currently does not have the complete evidence and science to support that booster shots should be used.

“Sa ngayon, wala pa kaming pinanghahakwan na kompletong ebidensiya at siyensiya na pwede tayong magbigay nitong mga booster shots na ito (So far, we do not have the complete evidence and science that we need to have these booster shots),” Vergeire said in a virtual press briefing.

“Hanggang wala pang pinanghahawakan ang ating gobyerno, kasama ng ating mga eksperto, ng (As long as the government and our experts do not have) sufficient evidence to say that it’s going to be safe and effective for our citizens, hindi pa natin mai-rerekomenda ‘yan sa ngayon (we cannot recommend that yet),” she added.

The health official earlier said that the country’s local health experts are not yet recommending the use of booster doses as there is still insufficient evidence that it is “going to be safe.”

Vergeire has appealed to the public to give confidence to the vaccines, saying that real-world studies showed that all the jabs that the government is currently using in its inoculation drive are effective against hospitalizations, symptomatic infections, and could prevent deaths.

“Let us try to wait for direct evidence and science before we can go into that direction of having these booster doses,” she said.

“Let us give chance to everybody to receive these vaccines, and then we will talk about booster shots,” she added.