Filipinos urged to get booster shots as Metro Manila, 38 other areas deescalate to lowest alert level

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 01 2022 09:58 AM | Updated as of Mar 01 2022 10:40 AM

A health worker administers the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot during a symbolic vaccination at the Generika Drug Store, in Taguig City on January 20, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
A health worker administers the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot during a symbolic vaccination at the Generika Drug Store, in Taguig City on January 20, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Fully vaccinated individuals are urged to get their booster shots as only 10 million have received their additional doses ahead of Metro Manila and 38 other areas' shift to the lowest alert level, an adviser to the government pandemic task force said Tuesday.

Some 63 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated so far, according to Dr. Ted Herbosa. Those who have received two doses three months prior may receive an additional shot in several drugstores, he said.

"You don’t have to pay. There's no fee. You don’t have to be a resident, all you have to do is show your vaccination card," he told ANC's Headstart.

The booster shot allows one's immunity system to "produce more antibodies which gives protection to new variants like omicron, BA.2," Herbosa said.

"We made it (booster shots) earlier to 3 months because we were having an omicron surge, but really after your second dose it's after 6 months to 8 months is when it starts to wane... If you're fully vaccinated your immunity does not disappear, but your antibodies wane," he said.

There is no government mandate on getting a fourth shot, Herbosa added. 

"There is no value, the scientific evidence show no value in getting four shots," he said.

Under Alert Level 1, vaccination cards will no longer be required in public transportation but is required in some establishments such as gyms, restaurants, bars, and other enclosed spaces, according to Herbosa, citing a resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force Against COVID-19.

It will be up to individuals to "self-regulate" under the lowest alert level, Herbosa said.

"Pinapasa na natin ang burden sa people to self-regulate if you're sick. All government offices kailangan pumasok na kami. If you're sick, you're asked not to go to work," he said.

"We’re getting there but it’s still not over. We still have 900 (cases) yesterday. That’s the lowest since December. I do hope it stays this way with the opening up of restrictions and the campaign period unlike other countries, unlike Hong Kong which started a new wave."

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