The head of the four-member delegation of health experts from Israel said that giving a third dose or booster shot of Covid-19 vaccines to the Philippine population is “irrelevant” right now.
“My advice is to first, vaccinate with the first dose and [then] the second dose of whatever vaccination you have,” said Infectious diseases and Covid-19 specialist Dr. Guy Chosen in a virtual press briefing late Friday afternoon.
Once “most” of the population will be vaccinated, he said that’s the time to go about with the third dose or the booster shots.
“I think this dilemma – on the question if this is relevant or irrelevant at the moment regarding the third dose- the main recommendation to the Philippines DOH (Department of Health), continue what they are doing at the moment- vaccinating more and more citizens of the Philippines,” Dr. Chosen said.
He added that with more people receiving the Covid vaccine, there will be “less and less” [Covid] hospitalizations, less and less severe and critical cases.”
“This is what you are looking for. This is one of the most important [things in order] not to overwhelm [your] medical hospitals,” he said.
When asked if it would also be necessary to give booster shots to senior citizens, the Israeli medical expert has maintained: “vaccinate as many people as possible and not aiming for a third dose.”
“That [administering the third dose] is not the main concern at the moment,” Dr. Chosen reiterated.
Asked again if what brand should they recommend for the third dose if the Philippines have already finished vaccinating the target population, Dr. Chosen said, “it doesn’t matter.”
For his part, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said that they are ramping up the vaccine rollout “and we are listening to the experts.”
As of July 25, 2021, a total of 17,202,421 doses have already been administered. 11,113,107 have received their first doses while 6,089,314 have already gotten the complete protection of the Covid-19 vaccines.
The total doses administered in the 21st week of the national vaccination reached 2,106,160 doses.
The DOH stressed that the people’s defense against Covid -19 and its variants is by following the minimum public health standards and getting vaccinated.
Sharing Covid-19 response
On July 26, the Israeli delegates arrived in the country to share with the Philippine government their experiences and best practices on their Covid-19 Response Operations, especially on clinical management.
The Israeli clinical experts and the government had a series of activities lined up for the delegates so they can observe the country’s Covid-19 response like sharing their current local clinical guidelines for Covid-19, infection control protocols, hospital management, and other practices.
According to the DOH, the national government deeply “values forging and strengthening partnership with different countries and experts from around the world to further improve the execution of the country’s Covid-19 response.”