Metro Manila may face another surge in Covid-19 cases by early 2022 if the distribution of shots for first-time and booster-shot vaccinees is not planned carefully, an OCTA Research Team fellow said.

In an interview with the Varsitarian, Fr. Nicanor Austriaco O.P. said the government must ensure a balance in its vaccine distribution to prevent surges in the future.

“It is becoming clear that if we are not careful — for boosters — if we’re not careful by the first or second quarter of next year, Metro Manila will become vulnerable again,” Austriaco said.

“We don’t want to lose the gains that we have achieved. So it has to be a balance between vaccinating our kababayans who have not yet been vaccinated and then making sure that we have enough supply,” he added.  

The Dominican priest-scientist said healthcare workers should remain the top priority for vaccination.  

The World Health Organization earlier recommended Covid-19 vaccine booster shots after the latest research data showed that vaccine efficacy starts to wane six months after an individual becomes fully vaccinated.

Austriaco said vaccines remain the best tool to limit the spread of the virus. 

“The vaccination may be waning, but if everyone is vaccinated, the virus is going to struggle. Vaccination still works, it might not be as good, but you are still protected somewhat as compared to someone who’s never been vaccinated,” he said. 

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. recently announced that the government was planning to launch a booster-shot rollout by Nov. 15 with two million doses allotted for healthcare workers and five million for immunocompromised individuals and the elderly.

Manufacturers behind the Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, and Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines are seeking amendments to their emergency use licenses to include third vaccine doses. 

As of Nov. 11, the country has administered a total of 67,716,205 Covid-19 vaccine doses and recorded 30,808,378 fully vaccinated individuals.


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