Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony has announced that from Monday, eligible persons can access booster shots if they so desire.
The Minister, during the daily Covid-19 update on Friday noted that these shots are already available in the country from the existing supply and health authorities have been contemplating how to move forward with administering booster shots.
“We have concluded based on data and recommendations from more stringent authorities, that a booster shot is necessary because what that data has shown is that after six months after the second dose, if the regimen is a two-dose regimen, six months after that second dose that the immunity starts to wean and therefore if the immunity starts to wean chances are that persons can get infected, there can also be breakthrough infections,” the Health Minister stated.
Currently, based on age category, for persons 60 years and above, the rate is at 79.3% for first dose and second dose is at 66.6 percent, 40-59 age group, the rate is at 77.1 % for first dose and 57.6 % for second dose, ages 18-39, the rate is at 73% for first dose and second dose at 44.6 %, while children ages 12-17, the rate is 39.2% first dose and 27.1% second dose.
“Out of an abundance of caution, what we are doing from next week, is that we want to make booster shots available to persons 50 years and above, so anybody, once you pass 50, you can come in and we will be able to give you a booster if you would like to get a booster,” Dr. Anthony stated.
This is, once six months has passed since these persons took the second dose of the vaccines, however, for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine which is a single dose vaccine, persons must wait at least 52 days before taking the booster shot.
The second category of persons eligible for the booster shots are those between the ages 18-50 with some level of comorbidity.
The CDC has listed the comorbidities that classify as risk factors for severe Covid-19.
Also, persons eligible for the booster shots can either opt for a shot of the same vaccine they took or opt for another one. The minister explained that a guide on how these shots can be mixed will be available at vaccination sites by Monday.
“In some cases, it remains the same, so if you had two doses of Pfizer, you can have a third dose of Pfizer, with some people they would like to have mix and matching, so if you have, two doses of AstraZeneca, some people might want one dose Pfizer, so we will put out that schedule of possibilities, how you can interchange these vaccines,” Dr Anthony explained.