Expert explains why elderly should be prioritized in PH administration of COVID-19 vaccine booster shot

A vaccine expert from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Thursday, Nov. 18, that the elderly should also be urgently prioritized in the country’s administration of booster shots against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).


DOST’s Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) head Dr. Nina Gloriani urged the government to include the senior citizens in the priority list of those who should receive the COVID-19 booster jabs amid the country’s rollout of booster shots for healthcare workers.

“Mabuti na rin po maumpisahan na rin sana agad ang pagbibigay ng bakuna, booster o third dose sa ating mga senior citizens sa A2 kasi sila nga po yung talagang mas mabilis ng waning ng immunity (It would be good that we start giving the vaccine, booster or third dose to our senior citizens in A2 immediately because they are the ones who really have faster waning immunity),” she said in a virtual public briefing on Thursday.

She explained that generally, vaccines wane after six months, but it could be shorter for certain sectors like the elderly and the immunocompromised or those with comorbidities.

"Pag elderly po at immunocompromised mas maaga na magwe-wane yan. Mayroon pong mga data that showed na three months, five months na bumababa na (If elderly and immunocompromised, the waning of immunity could be shorter. There are data that showed the vaccines wane after three months, five months),” Gloriani said.

She added that others who have good immune response, jabs wane after eight to 10 months.

In a radio interview, Gloriani said the administration of booster shots for elderly may start during the three-day national vaccination drive set on Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.

She said individuals with comorbidities or the A3 group may receive booster doses in early December.

The Philippines rolled out its COVID-19 booster vaccination for fully-jabbed healthcare workers on Wednesday, Nov. 17.