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COVID booster dose effective vs. BA.2.75 Omicron subvariant -VEP

QUEZON CITY, (PIA) -- The current booster doses against COVID-19 remain effective against the new Omicron subvariant BA.2.75, according to Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) chief Dr. Nina Gloriani.

In a radio interview over the weekend, Gloriani agreed with the statement of infectious disease expert Dr. Rontgene Solante that BA.2.75 dubbed as “Centaurus,” may be more transmissible compared to other subvariants and has the potential to evade current COVID-19 vaccines.

However, according to Gloriani, based on the study booster shots can still help protect people against the BA.2.75 Omicron subvariant that is under monitoring by the World Health Organization (WHO).

"So far, what they have seen is that the booster dose helps. The booster dose expands, broadens his immune response, the different types of antibodies for instance, will be covered with the variants," explained Gloriani.

"So far, it is still okay, but of course we're looking at updated versions of vaccines that are more variant-specific later on," she added.

Based on the latest data from the Department of Health (DOH), an estimated 15.7 million individuals have received their first booster dose, while 1.1 million have received the second booster dose. 

Earlier, Solante explained that it may take some time before the BA.2.75 variant could enter the Philippines, and therefore, the government must prepare for this possibility.

In this regard, the DOH, in partnership with the local government units (LGUs), is scheduled to launch on July 26 a campaign aimed at administering booster shots to 23.8 million Filipinos or 50% of eligible population of the country within the first 100 days of the administration of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. (PIA-NCR)

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