PEDIATRIC VACCINATION. A police officer comforts his daughter who received her Covid-19 jab at the newly opened Venice Grand Canal Mall vaccination hub in Taguig City on Tuesday (March 22, 2022). Taguig Vaccination Task Force has started its vaccination rollout for minors aged 5-11 years old.  (MNS photo)

MANILA, Mar 24 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) vaccine expert panel recommended a second booster jab for elderly and immunocompromised Filipinos because they need it more, the head of the group said Thursday.

“Of course hindi naman natin ine-expect na magwa-wane yung immunity agad-agad doon sa general healthy population pero yung mga immunocompromised, yung medyo may edad, yung may mga maraming sakit na especially mga chronic na mga sakit, ay hindi sila masyadong magandang mag-mount ng immune response,” Dr. Nina Gloriani said.

“So for additional protection, dahil nakikitang nagwa-wane na yung immunity, ni-recommend natin na magbigay ng second booster for these people, special population,” she said.

Gloriani explained that those with comorbidities and those with high exposure to COVID-19 will be prioritized for the 4th COVID-19 dose, if it is approved by the government.

“Ang rekomendasyon namin una, yung mga moderately to severely immunocompromised and then yung mga may comorbidities nga, elderly tapos yung may mataas na exposure, na posibleng ma-expose sa COVID na, of course umiikot pa ang COVID ‘no, pwedeng pang may mag-emerge na variants.”

“So sino ito? Ito yung healthcare workers, ito yung mga airport personnel, mga teachers, mga nag-[Barangay Health Emergency Response Team], siguro yung mga nagreresponde sa mga emergencies ‘no, so kung ang exposure nila mataas maaari silang ma-include dito.”

Dr. Edsel Salvana, a member of the DOH-technical advisory group, has previously said that the evidence for a fourth dose for the general public is still “very preliminary.”

Countries like South Korea and Israel have been giving the 4th COVID-19 jab to some of their citizens.(MNS)

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