MANILA - An infectious diseases expert on Tuesday explained when it would be safe for individuals to get a flu vaccine after being inoculated against COVID-19.
Flu vaccines would not boost the efficacy of COVID-19 jabs, but could protect people from the common flu, which usually manifests through cough, colds and fever, said Dr. Rontgene Solante, a member of the Department of Science and Technology's (DOST) vaccine expert panel.
Those inoculated with the single-dose Janssen vaccine mayo get flu shots "anytime or a week after as recommended by a doctor," Solante said in an online press conference.
Those jabbed with AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine may get their flu shots either "a week after their first dose" or "a week after their second dose, he said.
Moderna, Pfizer, Sinovac, and Sputnik V recipients may get flu vaccines a week after their first dose, but may also "opt to wait after completing your second dose," he said.
Those who have yet to receive COVID-19 vaccines should "get the flu or pneumococcal vaccine as soon as possible," he said.
Several experts earlier said that more Filipinos have been availing of flu vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic, believing that this would further protect them from developing symptoms of the disease.
Others are getting flu shots amid the spread of more virulent COVID-19 variants in the country.
Solante earlier allayed fears that COVID-19 vaccines would no longer work after months of inoculation.
“Ang nakikita natin palagi na mine-measure (what we see all the time that is being measured) especially in the studies is the neutralizing antibody titer. But doon sa mga sa clinical trials they also measure the cell-mediated immunity, 'yung T-cell response which is also as equally as important as your antibody," said Solante.
"(The) antibody protects us from getting the infection. But your T-cell is the one that will really kill the virus once it goes inside the body,” he added.
The Philippines has yet to recommend the use of COVID-19 booster shots as vaccine supply in the country remains limited, he said.