Vaccine expert panel recommends booster shot for 12-17 years old

Medical and Health Care

The country’s vaccine expert panel (VEP) has recommended the administration of the first booster dose for children ages 12 to 17 years old as face-to-face classes would start soon.

“Actually, meron na rin kaming rekomendasyon nai-submit sa FDA [Food and Drug Administration] pero nasa HTAC [Health Technology Assessment Council] pa ulit ‘yung ating final decision and recommendation especially ‘yung for 12 to 17 (Actually, we have also submitted a recommendation to the FDA but the final decisions especially for the 12 to 17 [years old] is still with HTAC),” VEP chairperson Dr. Nina Gloriani said Thursday in a televised public briefing.

Earlier, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said about 9.1 million adolescents are fully vaccinated while some 1.5 million children ages 5 to 11 years old are fully vaccinated as of April 18.

“Wala pa po talaga ‘yung para sa 5 to 11 (There’s really no recommendation of booster shot administration for 5-to-11-year-olds),” Gloriani said.

Since the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines waned over time, Gloriani said booster shots would provide an extra layer of protection especially for those directly exposed to coronavirus and protection against potential surge of infections.

The neutralizing antibodies of fully vaccinated individuals are expected to come back or increase five to seven days after the administration of a booster shot. For some people, it takes only two to three days, Gloriani said.

“As for those eligible for a second booster dose, it should be four months after the first [booster] dose,” she added.

The National Vaccination Operations Center said more than 66.9 million Filipinos are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and 12,687,684 million have received their first booster shot as of April 18.

Source: Philippines News Agency