As studies suggest that vaccine efficacy may wane after six months, countries across the globe are considering and have even begun administering booster shots for their citizens.
The Philippine government has entered into discussions with major vaccine manufacturers to buy 90 million Covid19 vaccine doses to be used as booster shots next year.
According to National Task Force Against Covid19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr., booster shots differ in that they are “reformulated” in order to be more efficacious against the stronger variants of the coronavirus.
The vaccine czar said that 50 to 60 million of the doses would come from Pfizer, with the rest coming from Moderna, AstraZeneca and Sinovac. They are hoping to secure 61 million by next month.
Meanwhile, those who have had their first dose of Russia’s Sputnik V need not wait much longer for their second jab, as the backlog of 190,000 doses is eyed to arrive soon. After this, the government will be tweaking its contract in order to get Sputnik Light, or the one-dose jab.
Due to a global vaccine shortage, the weekly supply varies. National Vaccination Operations Center representative Keiza Rosario said that achieving their daily inoculation target of 500,000 depends on the supply.
“We expect now, with the more vaccines that will arrive this week, we can achieve better performance if we can have additional supplies,” she reported.
The vaccination of minors and booster jabs for health workers has yet to be addressed by the health department, but pediatricians from the Philippine Pediatric Society and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines advised that the adult vulnerable population must continue to be the priority.
“Once the whole country has a sufficient percentage vaccinated in the priority adult groups, children 12 years old and above may be considered for vaccination,” they said.
New cases climbed past 20,000 as of Monday (Sept 13). Of the total figure of 2,248,071 cases, over 180,000 (86%) active cases are mild. Meanwhile, 1.4% are severe and 0.6% are critical. There have been more deaths due to Covid, with the figure at 35,307.
The Delta variant was identified as the cause of infection for eight out of 10 Covid infections in the country, according to the Philippine Genome Center.
The Department of Health said that of 748 cases analyzed by the genome facility, 640 were positive for Delta, and 584 cases had no history of travel. Meanwhile, 112 were based in Manila, 52 in Cagayan and 49 in Calabarzon.