Why some vaccine brands are preferred as booster shots for other brands

Benise Balaoing, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 26 2021 02:18 PM | Updated as of Oct 26 2021 02:19 PM

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MANILA -- The Department of Health (DOH) has approved the recommendation of an experts' panel for COVID-19 booster shots for priority sectors.

Under the list signed by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, those who have been fully vaccinated with Pfizer should get a Pfizer booster shot, and those jabbed with Janssen should get a Janssen booster shot.

 

But for those who received the vaccines from AstraZeneca, Sinovac, and Moderna, the preferred booster shot is Pfizer, although the same brand may also be given as a booster.

Speaking on ANC’s “Rundown,” Dr. Consorcia Lim Quizon of the Department of Health National Immunization Technical Advisory Group said that whenever possible, booster shots should be of the same brand as the earlier vaccines received.

“The bottomline is that the booster shot should be the same platform or homologous, as much as possible. So if you got Pfizer, Sinovac, whatever, it’s the same booster that you’re supposed to get.”

She added, however, that government may have allowed the mixing of vaccine jabs and booster shots from different brands because research has been done on this.

“Now for, when you said how come there can be mix and match, so to speak? That’s what you’re asking right? So because these brands have already done research on mixing and matching, while others are still waiting for results,” she said.

Vaccine supply could also be a reason for the recommendation. 

“Number two, it also depends on the availability of the vaccine. Even if you wanted to use the same platform, if at the moment that particular brand is not available, then you can use, based on what was recommended.”

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Dr. Nina Gloriani, meanwhile, who heads the country’s vaccine expert panel, said Sputnik V was not mentioned in the Health Technology Assessment Council’s recommendation since the country is facing problems with supplies of vaccines from the said brand.

“Medyo may problema kasi sa pagsupply ng Sputnik kaya hindi siya isinama,” she said on TeleRadyo.

Asked what booster shots those who got vaccinated with Sputnik can receive, she said, “Hindi pa ngayon pero actually dahil yung mga naging rekomendasyon sa homologous and heterologous talagang maaaring mag mix and match so maaaring any of those na meron tayong available.”

In April and July, shipments of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine to the Philippines were delayed due to logistical issues.

Sputnik V jabs only account for about 1.6 million of the more than 97 million COVID-19 shots that have arrived in the Philippines.

 

Gloriani said healthcare workers will be prioritized for the booster shots, while senior citizens may receive their third doses towards the end of this year.

“Hopefully, depende sa dami ng vaccine supplies, I think maganda naman yung supplies natin ngayon. Ang healthcare workers ang uunahin at ang elderly, towards the end of this year,” she said.

“Anong hinihintay natin? Yung amendment ng (emergency use authorization) ng mga bakuna, kasi ang EUA ay for two doses lang. So hinihintay nating ma-amend ito para makapagbigay ng third dose.”