Garin supports call for booster shots vs COVID-19

Former health secretary and Iloilo Representative Janette Garin on Wednesday said she supports calls for booster shots to be given to individuals who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Garin, who earlier admitted to having tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated said, she would advocate for the administration of booster shots to effectively protect vaccinated individuals against the coronavirus.

“Yes I would. In basic vaccinology, prime boost is the dictum. If you notice, most of the new vaccines will have three doses. As the years go by, if there are no mutations and events are favorable, doses are reduced,” Garin said when asked about updates regarding her case.

“Malamang , dalawang priming pa lang ang nangyayari (It’s possible they can only do double priming, because you need to prime a lot of immune cells, different kinds,” said the lawmaker who is also a doctor by profession.

Garin noted that Pfizer and Sinovac already have trials on three doses, with the third dose given six months after the second dose.

However, given the limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines in the country, the solon said she acknowledges that administering booster shots could be difficult to implement for health officials at this point in time.

“Madami pa ang walang bakuna (Many people are still unvaccinated). What we need is a faster vaccine roll out and hopefully (stable) vaccine supply,” she said.

The lawmaker also reiterated her call for an effective household vaccination saying, its benefits could not be maximized if only one person in a household is inoculated.

Garin said they suspect that she got infected with COVID-19 after a helper, who was fully vaccinated, went home and returned to her household. Though she was asymptomatic, the solon said the helper turned out to be positive upon tracing, together with another helper.

She also recalled that her close-in staff went home for a week and came back last Saturday evening was also asymptomatic, though she complained of having serious headache.

Garin said one should not let their guard down even when they are at home. She also stressed the importance of getting vaccinated in order to get protected.

“If I was not vaccinated, they will require my transfer to a hospital. But since I’m vaccinated, bahay na muna (I will stay at home) while submitting our monitoring results,” she said.