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With New Omicron Sub-Variant in PH, Filipinos Urged to Get Booster Shots

To address waning immunity.
by Arianne Merez
6 hours ago
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

The Department of Health urged Filipinos on Thursday to get COVID-19 booster shots after a sub-variant of omicron that's driving infections higher in the U.S. was detected for the first time in the Philippines.

Booster shots can address waning immunity from the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines, the health department said as it noted that the new sub-variant omicron BA.2.12 is a reminder that "the virus is still out there, and cases can go up the moment we let our guard down."

"The DOH thus implores the public to get boosted ASAP, as immunity is proven to wane over time," the health department said in an advisory.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: GUIDE: COVID-19 Second Booster Shots for Adults with Comorbidities

Initial findings and data suggest that the omicron BA.2.12 spreads faster while there is currently no evidence that it causes more severe disease, authorities said.

The DOH on Wednesday confirmed that omicron sub-variant BA.2.12 was detected for the first time locally in a 52-year-old woman who arrived from Finland last April 2.

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The Finnish woman, who was fully vaccinated and asymptomatic upon arrival in the Philippines, traveled to Quezon City and Baguio City. She experienced mild symptoms of COVID-19 nine days after her arrival and tested positive for the virus.

She underwent isolation for seven days and recovered before returning to Finland on April 21.

With the detection of the new omicron sub-variant, the DOH urged unvaccinated Filipinos to get jabbed and called on adults with comorbidities to get their second booster shot.

Booster shots have been available to fully vaccinated Filipinos since December of last year while it was only this week that the country started the rollout of the second booster shot for immunocompromised adults.


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