Shorter Interval Between Primary, Booster Shots Under Study

The government is studying the possibility of shortening the interval between primary doses and booster shots, National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Monday.

Current guidelines require six months, except for the single-dose Janssen vaccine that needs just three months.

“Pinag-aaralan na namin ‘yan (We are now studying that) and we will make some recommendations so that we can expand our vaccination program,” Galvez said in a media interview during a visit at a mall vaccination site in Bacoor City, Cavite.

“Pinag-uusapan nga namin na pwedeng i-elevate na natin sa FDA (Food and Drug Administration) na magkaroon ng amendment na between four to six months. ‘Yun ang nakikita natin para at least ma-expand na natin at saka mapabilis natin yung [population] protection (We are now discussing to propose amendments with our FDA of having an interval between four and six months. That’s what we see on how to further speed up our population protection),” Galvez said.

Citing advice from health experts, Galvez said shortening the administration interval between the second dose and booster or additional shots “will drastically improve” protection against Covid-19 infection.

“We should not break the chain of protection sa vaccine para at least tuluy-tuloy ‘yung reinforced protection ng ating [vaccinees] (so that, at least, our vaccinees will get continuous protection),” he added.

Galvez noted that health experts panel worldwide also suggested a positive result in pushing “three-dosing strategies”.

“Mas malakas ang ating protection if we have ‘yung tinatawag nating three-dosing ng primary (We can have stronger protection if we will have three-dosing of the primary shots),” he said.

Galvez said the recommendation to shorten the interval administration of primary doses and booster shots will also help the government utilize the 62 million doses of Covid-19 jabs in the stockpile before they expire.

Galvez said they will soon issue an advisory.

“So far, our primary duty is to get the unvaccinated, vaccinated. And second, we have to further enhance the protection of the vaccinated,” he said. (PNA)