Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Friday that there is no sufficient information yet on how long a COVID-19 vaccine could provide protection.
During the House Special Committee on North Luzon Quadrangle Growth hearing, Duque said the the need to adopt a booster dose policy in the country “remains to be seen.”
“We keep our ears to the ground to make sure whether there is new report or new data to support it and when these vaccines we are now using might actually provide more lasting protection beyond six months. In general, mga six months to nine months daw eh [between six months to nine months]…” Duque said.
“Whether we need to adopt a booster dose policy, that remains to be seen because we still don’t have sufficient data precisely to establish how long these vaccines can provide protection,” he added.
Duque said COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer continue to work with their supporting research scientist teams “to monitor the antibody protection level for each of these vaccines.”
No sufficient data yet on how long vaccine can provide protection: Duque
“Not all vaccines are created equal so each one has to really monitor, consolidate the data and pursue further studies to see the antibody levels in persons who have been vaccinated by any of the seven vaccines. Today we only have two, Sinovac and AstraZeneca,” he said.
According to initial data, COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc. could provide protection for ate least six months.
Meanwhile, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Friday the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the Priority Group A4 of the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program.
Below is the priority groups that were given COVID-19 vaccines so far:
- A1: Frontline workers in health facilities both national and local, private and public, health professionals and non-professionals like students, nursing aides, janitors, barangay health workers, etc.;
- A2: Senior citizens aged 60 years old and above;
- A3: Persons with comorbidities