VACCINE BOOSTER: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS EXTRA DOSE OF PROTECTION
It’s only been months since COVID-19 vaccination started, but booster shots are already available for the public to have better protection from the virus. Booster shots are basically an additional dose of vaccine aside from the required doses given to us primarily. Over time, the effect of vaccine minimizes that is why an extra dose is recommended to replenish its effectivity.
Who are eligible to receive a booster shot?
The Department of Health (DOH) initially approved to administer booster shots to fully vaccinated health workers (A1), senior citizens (A2), and immunocompromised adults (A3) only. But as of December, FDA Director-General Eric Domingo also authorized the administration of boosters to the general population with ages 18 and above.
For individuals who have been fully vaccinated by AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinovac, and Sputnik the recommended interval for booster shot is at least six months, while those who were jabbed with Janssen only have to wait at least three months.
What brand of vaccine should go with what vaccine?
Picking brands for booster shots are only limited for A1 category or the healthcare workers. Among their choices are AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, and Sinovac.
For the general public, the brand will more likely be the same as the brand that we had before, this is called a homologous booster. On the other hand, if the additional dose to be given is a different brand from you had before, it is called a heterologous booster.
Mix and match of vaccines is approved by DOH given that these combinations will be followed:
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire further clarified that booster shots are not mandatory nor required, it is purely voluntary. So, if you’re a person who received the primary dose/s of the vaccine you are already considered as fully vaccinated. But it does not hurt to have additional protection—especially when it comes to our health and safety.
Just like the primary doses, booster shots are given free. Therefore, we should not waste this opportunity to acquire this extra dose.
While waiting for our turn to receive the booster shot, we still need to be responsible for our actions and to follow the minimum health protocols to lessen the transmission of the virus for all of us to achieve a COVID-free future.