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Why You Should Get The First and Second COVID Vaccine Doses

What to do if you miss your turn.
by Pia Regalado
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Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday reminded those who missed the schedule for their second COVID vaccine dose to get back in line for the "booster" shot to become fully immunized.

About 113,000 vaccinees failed to show up for their second dose, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said, contrary to reports that more than a million missed their second jab scheduled.

"Please find time to go back and line there --- line up and show your card so that they would know that you are receiving the second dose, booster po iyan," Duterte said in a taped address aired on Monday night.

The chairperson of the National Vaccination Operations Center, Dr. Myrna Cabotaje, said there are several reasons why people miss their appointments for the second dose:

  • Getting exposed to COVID-19 and needing quarantine
  • Getting sick due to other causes
  • Reluctance to get the second shot due to side effects felt after getting the first dose
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While health experts are weighing the pros and cons of allowing two or four-week intervals between doses, Cabotaje said it is still advisable to return for the second dose regardless of the time that lapsed since the first jab. While the first offers protection against COVID-19, the second one acts as a booster shot.

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"In the meantime that there's no policy, the policy is bumalik sa health center kahit matagal na ang iyong first dose para mabigyan ng second dose," she told CNN Philippines.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that if the second dose is delayed beyond four weeks, it should be given at the earliest time possible.

Vaccinees who missed the schedule for their second jab will only have to bring their immunization card to the nearest vaccination center.

"Ang guarantee lang, kapag ikaw ay nabakunahan, you will be free from severe forms of the disease, from hospitalization and death," said Cabotaje.

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