MANILA - The public is urged to get their COVID-19 booster shots to prevent another possible surge in cases, an infectious disease specialist said on Monday.
A resurgence of infections "is aways a possibility," said Dr. Edsel Salvana, member of the Department of Health's technical advisory group .
"Ang COVID naman surprises ang pinakita sa 'tin. Important na gamitin pa rin natin yung mga tools na alam nating gumagana para masugpo ang COVID-19. Lalong lalo na sa di pa nagpapa-boost at 3 months na (after), you're above 18 years old magpa-boost na po tayo," he said during a televised public briefing.
(COVID has shown us surprises. It's important for us to use tools that we know work against COVID-19. Especially for those who have yet to get their booster shots after full vaccination and are 18 years and above, please get your additional dose.)
Some 11.2 million out of 64.66 million fully vaccinated individuals have received their booster jabs as of March 15, according to data gathered by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.
"We have tools which we have turned COVID almost an endemic virus. Kung mapapagpatuloy pa natin to, wala na pong bagong variant na lumabas tuloy-tuloy na po yan towards endemicity," said Salvana.
(If this will continue and no new variant will emerge, the situation will continue towards endemicity.)
Video courtesy of PTV
A fourth vaccine dose is being studied for the immunocompromised, while its data on the general public were "still very preliminary," Salvana said.
"Kailangan natin i-push itong third dose kasi marami pa rin ang 'di nagpapa-booster," he said.
(We need to push this third dose because many have yet to get their booster shots.)
Vaccination is also important even for those who have contracted COVID-19 as it leads to hybrid immunity, Salvana added.
"Kung magkaroon ng isang breakthrough infection or nagkaroon na kayo ng COVID at nagpabakuna kayo, that kind of immunity is actually the most durable and most effective," he said.
(If you get a breakthrough infection or you get vaccinated after contracting COVID then that kind of immunity is actually the most durable and most effective.)
"The best pa rin is hindi tayo mahawa at magpa-vaccinate pa rin."
(It's still best not to get infected and get vaccinated.)
The DOH classified the entire country as low risk for virus cases while independent group OCTA Research said it was at a "very low risk" with an average daily attack rate of 0.47 per 100,000 population.