The Philippines has joined a growing list of countries that have begun the rollout and administration of the second booster dose to their populations, including Australia, El Salvador, Germany, Israel, South Korea, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. The supplementary booster shot program tries to offset the impacts of the Omicron variant’s sublineages. Last Monday, April 25, the Philippines began delivering the fourth dosage or second booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine due to declining vaccination efficacy.
According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque, because of increasing vaccination coverage, while COVID-19 is still there, in the near future we can consider this as an endemic disease.
According to Lisa Coon, a writer coordinator of OSF healthcare, Booster basically refers to an extra dose of vaccine after the primary dose is administered. According to the Pharmacy Operations, these can be administered weeks, months, or years later. But with the COVID-19 2nd boosters, the Department of Health (DOH) is urging Filipinos to grab the opportunity of being boosted every three months to avoid the rising of COVID-19 cases. The original (or primary) dosage is given along with a booster dose for some immunizations. The immune system is primed to recognize and make antibodies against the virus; it was designed to fight the virus after receiving the initial dosage.
As of April 21, the country had reached 74.8 percent of its target, with 67.3 million people having received full Covid-19 vaccination status. Covid-19 vaccinations have been completed by more than 1.7 million children and 9.1 million adolescents. Around 12.7 million eligible people have been vaccinated or boosted, whereas 37.5 million have yet to obtain their first booster injection. The following brands of COVID-19 vaccine will be used as a second booster dose: AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinopharm, and Sinovac. The goal, according to the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC), is to give 690,000 doses to immunocompromised people who qualify. Three months after the initial booster shot, people with comorbidities can obtain their second booster shot.
In light of the current scenario, we at Bria Homes Community want to make sure that you are all accountable for your own health and well-being. Before registering or arranging your visit, always take care of yourself and observe proper health protocols. BRIA Homes is one with the government in promoting extra layers of protection from the virus by availing the 2nd booster shot.
Here are some things that you should know about the rollout of COVID-19 boosters.
Who are those eligible to get the COVID-19 2nd booster?
According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, those individuals who are aging 18 years old and above and of course those who are considered immunocompromised must get the COVID-19 2nd booster, especially if vaccines are made available in their areas. Immunocompromised individuals are those who received an organ transplant, those who are cancer patients, those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, and those with primary immunodeficiency.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also approved the second booster shot for senior individuals and frontline health workers as an emergency use authorization. The second booster dose will be administered at least four months following the first booster dose.
Why do immunocompromised individuals need to get the 2nd Booster for COVID-19?
A booster is administered after a person has completed their vaccine series because, as data has shown, immune protection against the virus begins to wane with time, the increased doses are solely for the purpose of improving the immune response of patients who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. These people are particularly susceptible to COVID-19 and are at a higher risk of developing a serious, long-term illness. Their level of immunity following the initial vaccine doses is lower than that of persons who are not immunocompromised. This is not due to a lack of efficacy of the vaccine. It’s because these people’s immune systems require the additional dosage or doses as part of their primary series in order to achieve the degree of protection that best protects them against serious disease or hospitalization. Currently, the administration of the second booster dose is focused first in NCR.
Places in NCR that began for the roll-out of COVID-19 2nd Booster:
Just in case you are wondering with what cities are currently administering the 2nd booster of COVID-19, here are the following:
San Juan City
The delivery of the fourth Covid-19 dose or second booster shot for immunocompromised persons began last April 26, in San Juan City. About 95 percent of the city’s fully vaccinated people have now received their first booster shots, with only four current Covid-19 cases on record. Every day, 300 dosages of second booster shots will be given out. Mayor Francis Zamora said that the lifting of limitations in Metro Manila will provide citizens with an additional layer of protection from the feared illness. As per Mayor Zamora, San Juan City welcomes this new development in the fight against Covid-19. They have eased the Covid-19 restrictions in the new normal but the Filipinos must remain vigilant to avoid another surge, San Juan City already knows that the vaccine efficacy wanes after several months, so getting the second booster shot is very important. Vaccinees may select their preferred brands based on availability. There are no walk-ins allowed. San Juan City residents are advised to sign up here.
Last Tuesday, April 26, the Manila municipal administration also began providing the second Covid-19 booster shot to immunocompromised persons aged 18 and up. The Ospital ng Maynila, Ospital ng Sampaloc, Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital (JJASGH), Gat Andres Bonifacio Medical Center, Ospital ng Tondo, Sta Ana Hospital and Sta. Lucia Hospital is among the district hospitals for the administration of the 2nd boosters. Eligible individuals must present a valid identification card (ID), their vaccination card, and a medical certificate or clearance at the vaccination site.
Immunocompromised individuals may also go now to the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) office in Quezon City for a second booster. As per PMA President Dr. Benito Atienza during the Laging Handa public briefing, “All they have to do is coordinate with their local governments. Our immunization station in Quezon City is open for booster doses on Thursday and Friday,”
Philippine Red Cross in Mandaluyong City
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) began providing second booster shots of Covid-19 vaccinations to the elderly and immunocompromised in Mandaluyong City last April 27, 2022. The PRC’s vaccination initiatives are part of its mandate as a humanitarian ally of the government. In March 2021, the PRC began providing Covid-19 vaccinations. Through its Bakuna Centers, Bakuna Teams, and Bakuna Buses, it has provided 1,153,200 doses of Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters to date. It has completely immunized 367,985 people.
Other hospitals in Metro Manila
The second booster dose has begun to be distributed in Metro Manila hospitals and health centers, including the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Tala Hospital, Valenzuela Medical Center, and Cembo Health Center in Makati City. As per the Department of Health (DOH), there will be more vaccination sites to open in the coming days.
Reasons not to fear the COVID-19 2nd booster shot:
The Virays’ elderly and immunocompromised spouses Ninfa and Nicanor had their second booster shots at the PRC today. Ms. Viray, 84, is a cancer patient who recently underwent a mastectomy. Mr. Viray, who is 85 years old, has diabetes. In December 2021, they both received their first booster. The second booster dose against Covid-19 is given at least four months after the first booster shot, however for some patients, if ordered by a doctor, the delay could be shorter. As per Ms. Viray, they want to be more protected from having more severe symptoms because of their age, considering that there are times that they also need to go out of the house to buy their basic needs. She also mentioned that getting the second booster shot is part of their taking care of themselves, because their decisions about their health affect the rest of the family.
For the Viray couple, they can actually encourage others to get the booster shot by showing them how she and her husband have relative capacity to still enjoy life, because they can be mobile and interact with people with confidence despite their advanced years. Mr. Viray shares that his style is personal; he talks to his friends about the benefits of getting vaccinated. Ms. Viray says they attempt to follow all health standards as closely as possible because they don’t want to waste the new lease on life they’ve been given thanks to the immunization’s protection. Mr. Viray claims that since becoming vaccinated, he has felt more secure about his safety. The couple is eager to contribute to community education about the Covid-19 public health emergency’s collective nature and remedy.
Written by Raine Sanchez