DOH warns public: 'Dangerous' to get more COVID-19 shots than needed

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 29 2022 09:46 AM | Updated as of Mar 29 2022 09:53 AM

Residents in Barangay Novaliches in Quezon City avail of free health services offered by the Philippine Red Cross on March 22, 2022, as part of its health caravan leading up to the non-profit organization's 75th anniversary. The caravan offered services such as health consultations, blood letting, first aid training, and COVID-19 vaccinations. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Residents in Barangay Novaliches in Quezon City avail of free health services offered by the Philippine Red Cross on March 22, 2022, as part of its health caravan leading up to the non-profit organization's 75th anniversary. The caravan offered services such as health consultations, blood letting, first aid training, and COVID-19 vaccinations. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Getting more COVID-19 shots than what is needed is "dangerous," the Department of Health said on Tuesday.

While the DOH has yet to receive reports of adverse events following excess jabs, it is closely monitoring people who got them, said Health Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.

"What I can say would be it is dangerous. We have to understand these vaccines are only in their phase 3 trials. We need to monitor for long-term effects of these vaccines," she told ANC's Headstart.

"People have to be very cautious in using these vaccines beyond heir approved use. We still do not know a lot about these vaccines. We just want to stay within the protocol and approved guidelines."

The DOH has so far recommended a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose or a second booster for the elderly and the immunocompromised. Government has yet to roll these out.

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Vergeire reiterated the importance of COVID-19 booster shots as only 11.8 million out of 45 million eligible fully vaccinated individuals have received their additional doses.

"They believe they already have enough protection because they had their primary series already and they had an infection," she said. 

"We have to remember immunity wanes, both the natural immunity and immunity coming from our vaccines. It gives you additional protection from severe hospitalization and deaths."

The public is warned against complacency as the country's virus cases continued to decline and all regions are classified as "minimal risk" for COVID-19, Vergeire added.

"I would like to remind our citizens now that we're in Alert Level 1, and the [local] campaign period has started, please remember that the virus is still here, this is not the time to be complacent," she said.

"We need to remain vigilant, cooperate, we need be as one so that we can sustain the gains we have received and sustain this Alert Level 1 in the country for very long time."