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Booster provides effective protection vs Omicron subvariant

Philippine News Agency photo

QUEZON CITY, (PIA) -- COVID-19 booster shots are an effective protection against the Omicron BA.2.12.1 subvariant, the vaccine expert panel (VEP) said.

In a televised public briefing, VEP chairperson Dr. Nina Gloriani said the protection from the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines is not enough against Omicron subvariants BA.1 and BA.2.

“The mRna vaccines, very clear after two doses, ang efficacy nitong mga bakuna bumababa hanggang 10 percent against Omicron variant. Pag binigyan ng third dose, two to four weeks after bababa rin ito to about 59 to 75 percent. After another two months bababa pa ng 51 to 64 percent and after three months na sa 49 to 50 percent na lang (their efficacy goes down to 10 percent against Omicron variant. When given third dose, two to four weeks after, it will also go down to about 59 to 75 percent. After another two months, it will go down to 51 to 64 percent and after three months to 49 to 50 percent),” she said.

The Department of Health earlier confirmed the local transmission of the Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1.

Studies abroad show that waning immunity is also present even after the first booster or third dose, she added.

Earlier, the VEP recommended the administration of the second booster or fourth dose not only for the immunocompromised but also for individuals with comorbidities and senior citizens.

“That was our initial recommendation that was approved by the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] kaya lang meron tayong HTAC [Health Technology Assessment Council] na nagtitingin sa socio-economic benefits ng mga bakuna (but HTAC studies the socio-economic benefits of vaccines),” Gloriani said.

The HTAC has recommended a second booster shot for the elderly and healthcare workers.

It is just waiting for one more requirement from the World Health Organization before it could issue the guidelines for the elderly and healthcare workers. (PIA-NCR)

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