Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony has revealed that while no decision has been made on administering a COVID-19 booster shot, there is some consideration.
While some countries have started to administer an additional vaccine shot as a booster, several other countries have stayed away from issuing additional shots, saying the additional shot is not necessary.
“We have been studying this problem, and we have an expert group of people comprising of local experts and overseas specialists who have been giving thought to this matter and they have examined the best practices in different countries where third does are going to be used and there going to be recommendations for us as we move forward but right now we have the matter of third dose under consideration,” the Health Minister said.
The World Health Organization in August called for the postponement of COVID vaccine booster programmes in order to prioritise vaccines for low-income countries.
Several countries with high vaccination rates have been considering vaccine booster programmes, given the uncertainty about how long the immunity lasts.
“Pfizer has made a case to the USFDA, that after six months you will start seeing weaning of the antibodies, that does not mean that people are not protected because with any vaccine once you use the vaccine after your second dose after a time period you will see the antibodies level come down, but you will still have particular antibodies that will circulate…So, if they encounter the virus, they will remember it and they will trigger an immune response that is natural for almost every vaccine,” the Health Minister noted.
In the US, the booster shot has been approved for the Pfizer vaccines for special categories of people, especially the elderly and people with underlying conditions.