Vaccine official appeals for honesty in getting booster shots

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2022 08:26 AM | Updated as of Jan 23 2022 08:42 AM

MANILA — The head of the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) on Sunday appealed to the public to be honest with their COVID-19 booster shots as some people are possibly planning to receive a fourth dose.

While the government has a database on the vaccination status of its citizens, it takes time for a vaccine site to check whether an individual has already received a third dose or booster shot, said NVOC Chairperson Myrna Cabotaje. This makes it possible for someone to receive a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"We need to check kung mayroon na siyang ibang bakuna para hindi maulit," Cabotaje, also an undersecretary at the Department of Health (DOH), told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

"It will take some time for us to check the database. I-refer natin sa DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology). So sabi ko nga, kailangan maging honest," she said.

Cabotaje said there is no danger in getting multiple shots of COVID-19 vaccines, but it would difficult to identify which dose caused a side effect once an individual experiences an adverse event.

"Kung patong-patong iyong kaniyang bakuna at kung hindi clear kung ano iyong naibigay, hindi natin ma-attribute at hindi natin matingnan kung paano ang response natin sa adverse event kung sakaling mayroon," she said.

Watch more News on iWantTFC

Cabotaje said there have been recommendations that the immunocompromised may need to receive a fourth dose, but the country's vaccine experts are still conducting studies.

Vaccine deaths

The country has also reported three deaths due to COVID-19 vaccination, Cabotaje said, although she did not give further details on these cases .

Cabotaje explained that it takes time before experts can conclude whether a death was directly caused by vaccination.

"Kasi talagang inaaral 'yong mga datos, kino-compare sa side effects, kung 'yan ay side effects associated sa bakuna," she said.

As of Jan. 20, over 56.8 million individuals in the Philippines have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 while 5.8 million have received booster doses.