Should you get a booster shot?

You’re probably aware that booster shots will be administered to frontliners from November 17. With the additional inoculation underway, it’s only a matter of time until the booster shot will be available to everyone else. So the question remains, should you even get a booster shot, to begin with?

To keep you up to speed, the Department of Health (DOH) offers healthcare workers the choice between getting the same vaccine brand as their primary series (homologous) or getting a different brand (heterologous), based on the brand mixing approved by the government.

Just take note that as per DOH Technical Advisory Group’s Dr. Edsel Salvana, “There is data that mixing (heterologous vaccination) is more likely to cause reactions. “However, hindi naman ito severe (however, it is not severe). It is a question of harm vs. benefit. We know that yung benefit right now (the benefit right now), we’re still looking at the data–a lot of this is unpublished, not peer-reviewed.”

“We’re not actually sure how well these boosters will work. Kaya lang nilalabas ‘to kasi may waning of immunity from clinical disease (The only reason why it’s being rolled out is that there is a waning of immunity from clinical disease),” Salvana added.

Booster shots are given to those whose immunity is going down after they completed their primary vaccine series.

So what kind of booster shot should you get? Healthcare experts, including DOH Undersecretary Rosette Vergeire, recommended going with homologous vaccinations as they have more consistent studies with regards to safety. “For those with a history of adverse reactions to vaccines, it may be best to receive a homologous series due to its more consistent safety profile,” she said.

The booster shot is recommended to be administered 6 months after you get your first jabs. If you’ve been vaccinated by the initial series already, you shouldn’t be in a rush to get one. The vaccine you’ve been jabbed with can still protect you.

For some added peace of mind, check out the CDC’s list of individuals recommended to get a booster dose. Stay safe always!

Art Daniella Sison

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