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Medical workers are given the freedom to choose which brand of vaccine they want for their booster shots depending on the vaccine availability, according to the Department of Health (DOH) guidelines.
Per the department memorandum issued by DOH on Tuesday, November 16, healthcare workers can receive the same brand as their initial vaccine (homologous booster dose) or a different brand (heterologous booster dose).
“The Priority Group A1 shall be given the option to choose whether he/she shall receive a homologous or a heterologous booster dose, depending on the availability of vaccine brands in the vaccination site,” the document read.
Medical frontliners who were vaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna, Sinovac, Gamaleya, and AstraZeneca vaccines will receive their booster shot at least six months after completing their primary doses. Those who received single-shot Janssen COVID-19 vaccine will get their booster shot at least three months after the initIal dose.
The health agency also added that new vaccine platforms such as mRNA vaccines (e.g. Pfizer and Moderna) are not recommended to be boosted with old vaccine platform like inactivated vaccines (e.g. Sinovac).
"Vector-based vaccines (e.g. AstraZeneca) are recommended to be boosted with a different vaccine platform due to the theoretical possibility of pre-existing immunity attenuating or weakening the immune response on the second or third dose," DOH added.
Depending on the brand of the initial doses, DOH advised the following heterologous booster vaccination:
Sinovac - AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or Moderna
AstraZeneca - Pfizer or Moderna
Gamaleya (Sputnik V) - AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or Moderna
Janssen - AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or Moderna
Pfizer - AstraZeneca or Moderna
Moderna - AstraZeneca or Pfizer
Those who experienced adverse reactions after vaccination are advised to consult their doctor for a recommended booster strategy.
The distribution of booster doses among healthcare workers began on Wednesday, November 17.