Have you ever watched the news during their COVID-19 segments and heard of the term booster shots? It’s a common term in the news these days because of the recent developments in COVID-19 vaccinations worldwide. We all know that vaccination is an additional layer of protection against the virus. Besides this, lockdowns and social distancing, we still don’t know other options that can help us put COVID-19 to a stop. However, what are booster shots anyway and what do we currently know about them? That’s what we’ll be tackling in this article. It’s important to know these things that concern our health and the welfare of others as it is also our civic duty to keep them safe.
What are booster shots?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting a booster shot means receiving another dose of vaccine after being fully vaccinated. Once a person gets fully vaccinated, the protection of the vaccine decreases over time, otherwise known as “waning immunity.” These are given to those who received their second dose 8 months prior.
Booster shots supplement the initial two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to augment the protection against the variants of this notorious virus.
If booster shots are a thing, does that mean the initial COVID-19 vaccines are not effective? The answer is no. COVID-19 vaccines are effective in protecting you from the virus, no matter what brand it is. The best COVID-19 vaccine is the one that’s available. But with the virus developing new variants, health experts are seeing the reduced protection of people who may contract the moderate to severe level of the virus.
Currently, the people who received the third jab are those who are immunocompromised and a third dose of the vaccine is needed for them to be fully vaccinated. In the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to roll out booster shots to prevent fully vaccinated citizens from getting the virus for a longer period of time.
Although debates are ongoing because the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling to halt the production of booster shots because of the prevalent gap of vaccine inoculations from first world countries to second and third world countries. If the rich countries push for the production of the booster shots now, there will be a deficit of vaccine supply that can be given to developing countries that need them more.
Who is supplying the booster shots?
The booster shots are identical to the original shots initially received by people but are more “customizable” if stronger variants are to become widespread.
As of now, the suppliers of booster shots known are Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, Sinovac, and AstraZeneca. There are no reports yet of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 producing boosters shots but they announced that August that those who received one jab of Janssen and if ever receive a second jab as a booster will encourage the stronger antibody response.
Different Covid-19 vaccines have different efficacy rates.
As for Sputnik, Bahrain so far is the lone country that authorized the use of booster shots of the brand. Booster shots of Sputnik V can be received by citizens 6 months after receiving their second dose.
There are also recent theories that surfaced the idea of mixing vaccines across brands to increase efficacy rate. The WHO warned people against mixing vaccine brands as studies need to be conducted first to test the veracity of the stronger efficacy rate claim. WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan explains, “Data from mix and match studies of different vaccines are awaited – immunogenicity and safety both need to be evaluated.”
Clinical trials are ongoing right now at the University of Oxford to study the possibility of mixing the regimen of AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, and Novavax. Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna were recently found to be interchangeable and can be mixed but only in exceptional situations.
Will booster shots will be available in the Philippines?
Budget has been allocated for booster shots in the upcoming year.
Does the Philippine government plan on getting booster shots anytime soon? Based on recent reports, it is still not recommended but the Department of Health (DOH) has allocated a budget for it in 2022. DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire shared that the country doesn’t even have enough vaccine supplies to inoculate the entire population yet, as many have not even received their first doses yet.
In the meantime, DOH is focusing on vaccinating more citizens while waiting for the go-signal of international health authorities about the plausibility of booster shots.
Is everyone required to have a booster shot?
Booster shots are not the current priority of the DOH and the agency is focusing attention on vaccinating more people in order to achieve herd immunity soon.
As previously mentioned, those who receive the third jab, for now, are those who are immunocompromised. Local health authorities do not see the urgent need for booster shots at the moment as the country prioritizes the inoculation of those who have yet to receive their first doses. The Philippines, unlike the United States and others who are more aggressive about getting booster shots soon, has not yet started making plans for booster shots any time soon.
National Task Force (NTF) vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said that booster shots in the country are still forbidden and asks those who have been fully vaccinated already to be patient. Heeding the advice of health experts, he stresses that booster shots are far more effective after 9 to 12 months. “It will be better for us to administer booster shots starting on the first quarter next year,” he adds.
Stay Safe Against COVID-19 at a Brittany Property
As of now, approximately only 17.4% of the entire population is fully vaccinated. It’s still a long way to go before achieving herd immunity and is still dependent on how fast and efficient are we in inoculating our citizens. With booster shots not seen in the near future, we must do all measures to ensure our own and our family’s safety. Health is always non-negotiable no matter the circumstance.
Continue to follow health protocols such as observing social distancing, wearing face masks, washing your hands, and getting vaccinated the soonest opportunity you can get. One of the solutions people resort to since the pandemic began was moving out of the city not just to get away from the virus but also to reflect and have a clear mind in order to put things into perspective as this pandemic has really challenged all of us in all ways possible.
Here at Brittany, we can offer you lots of options if you decide to reconnect with nature and be away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Brittany has the most beautiful houses in the Philippines and purchasing a luxury home or luxury condo outside of the Metro is your next best move. Staying at home now is important in order to lessen your exposure to the virus and a Brittany home is just what you need.
Our communities are made to provide not just luxury living but also comfort, peace, and security. Interested to see which Brittany property is the one for you? Visit our properties page here to learn more.