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Waiting Time for COVID Booster Shots is Shortened to 3 Months

In response to variants like Omicron.
by Arianne Merez
A day ago
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

The Philippines is shortening the waiting time for COVID-19 booster shots, Health Sec. Francisco Duque III said Tuesday, as the country moved to control the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Starting Wednesday, Duque said individuals who have completed their two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series can get their booster shot three months after the second dose while those who were jabbed with single-dose vaccines can get their booster shot at least two months after.

The new policy was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in light of the new Omicron variant, of which at least three imported cases have been confirmed by the Philippines.

Booster doses however were not yet recommended for ages 12-17, the Department of Health said.

“We are exploring all possible options to safely mitigate the effects of more transmissible variants of COVID-19," Duque said in a statement.

Previously, the waiting time for booster shots is at least six months for those vaccinated with two-dose jabs, and at least three months for those inoculated with single-dose vaccines.

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“We call on our local government units to encourage their constituents to get vaccinated, especially the unvaccinated senior citizens and people with underlying medical conditions who are more vulnerable to having severe COVID-19," Duque said.

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The World Health Organization designated Omicron a variant of concern on Nov. 26, soon after it was first detected in South Africa, and much is still not known about it, including the severity of the illness it causes.


Omicron Cases Doubling in 1.5 to 3 Days in Areas with Local Spread: WHO

These Vaccines are Less Effective Against Omicron

Omicron More Likely to Reinfect than Delta, No Milder: Study

--with a report from Reuters

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