Here's why it's better to take a COVID-19 booster shot in 2022

Published August 16, 2021, 10:38 AM

by Martin Sadongdong

A third dose or booster shot of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is preferrable to have in 2022 than right now, according to the country’s vaccine czar.

A vaccinator administers a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to a passenger inside their vehicle during the opening of the Nayong Pilipino drive-thru vaccination site in Parañaque City on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021. (Ali Vicoy)

Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., also the chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, claimed experts have found out that booster shots are “more effective” nine to 12 months after an individual has taken the recommended two doses of the jab, or single dose in the case of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen.

“Ang sabi ng experts, ang booster shot walang gaanong epekto iyan kung ang ating spacing napakababa (According to experts, the booster shot has no significant impact if we have too little spacing),” Galvez said Sunday afternoon, Aug. 15, during the arrival of 469,200 doses of Moderna vaccine that were procured by the government and private sector.

“Mas maganda kung ang booster natin is sa first month of year 2022, sa first quarter (It would be better if our booster shots will be given in the first month of 2022, in the first quarter),” he noted.

Aside from this, the country still has limited number of supplies so Galvez said it is the moral obligation of fully vaccinated Filipinos to let the unvaccinated get their shot in the arm, instead of getting a third dose or more for themselves.

“We are asking our people to be patient. We should be morally obliged. We need to wait for our turn. When we are finished [getting the recommended two doses], let the others [take] their turn,” Galvez stressed.

The vaccine czar issued the remark after reports surfaced that there were individuals who have already been inoculated with booster shots in some parts of Metro Manila through “vaccine hopping.”

The NTF has launched an investigation to punish individuals who are registering for vaccination in different cities to get more than two vaccine doses as he called them “immoral.”

Last Aug. 10, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it was reviewing the emerging evidence on the need for and timing of an additional vaccine dose (booster dose 1) for the currently available vaccines.

“In the context of ongoing global vaccine supply constraints, administration of booster doses will exacerbate inequities by driving up demand and consuming scarce suply while priority populations in some countries, or subnational settings have not yet received a primary vaccination series,” it said in a statement.