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Seniors May Need the 4th COVID-19 Vaccine Shot, DOH Says

Medically reviewed by Dexter Macalintal, MD

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Apr 15, 2022

    Seniors May Need the 4th COVID-19 Vaccine Shot, DOH Says

    On Tuesday (March 8), The Department of Health (DOH) released a statement about the recommendation of a fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot or a second booster shot for seniors and other moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals to have better protection against the virus. 

    This consideration stems from a “decrease in antibody titers seen in studies and their increased risk towards morbidities when infected with COVID-19.”

    DOH Recommends 4th COVID-19 Vaccine Shots 

    The DOH advises that the second booster shot be administered four months after the first booster shot.

    People who are at high risk of COVID-19 exposure, including healthcare workers and airport personnel, will benefit from the fourth COVID-19 vaccine as well. However, young and healthy individuals are unlikely to improve much from a fourth dose when confronted with the Omicron variant. 

    But, Heath Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje mentioned that health experts have yet to come to a final agreement about it. During the press conference, she said that they already endorsed this recommendation to other health experts.

    Dr. Ted Herbosa, adviser to the National Task Force Against COVID-19, also previously asserted the submission.

    It will be the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases who is responsible for approving the implementation.

    “The DOH plans to engage its community of experts within the month to come up with evidence-based and data-driven recommendations with regard to the 2nd booster dose.”

    4th COVID-19 Vaccine Shot For The Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised

    A fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot refers to a second booster shot given to people after the primary shots have been administered. This provides another layer of protection as the primary doses may decrease their effectiveness over some time. This COVID-19 vaccine also aids in the maintenance of strong immunity against severe coronavirus disease.

    There are many medical conditions that can make a person immunocompromised, or have a weakened immune system. Any person may fall under this said category if one has any of the following:

    • Undergoing active cancer treatment for tumors and other blood cancers
    • Received an organ transplant and continuously in medications to suppress the immune system
    • Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years and currently taking medications to suppress the immune system
    • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (i.e., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
    • Advance or untreated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
    • Treatments with high-dose corticosteroids or other medications that may counter the immune response

    Given their medical condition, people should discuss having their COVID-19 vaccine shots with their healthcare provider.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) proposes that individuals who have been vaccinated receive a booster dose if they are eligible.

    DOH Considers Holding National COVID-19 Vaccination Drive

    The DOH stated that it would prioritize the fourth national COVID-19 vaccination drive before reaching a decision.

    Before reaching a decision, the DOH stated that it would prioritize the fourth national COVID-19 vaccination drive.

    The “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” campaign will prioritize remote areas with low vaccination rates.

    According to the weekly COVID-19 data report, fully-vaccinated individuals now total 63,690,701 (70.76% of the target population). There are also 598,206 additional individuals from February 28 to March 6.

    Individuals who have received booster shots total 10,554,093, with additional 416,218 people in the same time period.

    Meanwhile, The Philippines recorded 580 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday (March 9). This is the lowest number on record this year and since December 28, 2020. 

    Active cases have also dropped to 47,471 out of 3,669,283 confirmed infections. The total number of recoveries is currently 3,564,630, while the total number of deaths is 57,182.

    Learn more about Coronavirus here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Dexter Macalintal, MD

    Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Apr 15, 2022

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