Depending on the brand, COVID-19 vaccines can give protection for six to 12 months, the Department of Health said on Tuesday as the government considers procuring booster shots for those who have been inoculated against the disease.
"Yung protection provided by these vaccines is anywhere from a range of six to nine months for certain vaccines while other vaccines hanggang 12 months," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said during the hearing of the Senate Committee of the Whole.
"But there is no definitive protection period that can be identified for each of these vaccines. Parang in general lang, this is the observation," he added.
There are currently seven brands in the Philippines' portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines, namely Sinovac, Sputnik V, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson&Johnson, Pfizer, and Novavax.
Duque said that since COVID-19 vaccines are relatively new, the data on how long it can provide protection against the disease could still change. The DOH, along with the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19, the Health Technology Assessment Council, and the vaccine expert panel are continuously looking into this, he said.
As of June 14, the Philippines has administered over seven million COVID-19 vaccine doses, of which 5.1 million are first doses and 1.9 million are second doses, vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. said.
Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez III said the government is preparing to purchase booster shoots of one dose for around 85 million adults and teenagers which could cost around P60 billion. The proposal is to include such amount in the 2022 national budget, he added.