By Billy Begas
Amid the reported delay in the arrival of AstraZeneca vaccines in the country, Anakalusugan Rep. Michael Defensor said the Department of Health (DOH) should explain to the public what will happen to those who got the first dose of the vaccine.
Defensor said the country received 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca last March 4, and an additional 38,400 on March 7, for a total of 525,600 doses.
He said the initial plan was to give the vaccine to 262,800 health workers and senior citizens at two shots each with 28 days dosing interval.
But due to rising virus infection cases, President Rodrigo Duterte authorized the use of the vaccine as first-dose shot to protect as many as 525,600 citizens.
However, the World Health Organization announced that the delivery of the next shipment would be delayed and the promised number of doses would be scaled down.
“If we follow the 28-day dosing interval, they should get their second dose before the end of this month, at the latest. But the second shipment of AstraZeneca is expected to be delivered next month or in June yet because of short supply,” Defensor said.
Defensor said the DOH should inform those who have been vaccinated what would happen if they don’t get the second dose on time and what is the maximum interval between the two doses.
“Would they still have to receive the booster shot or would they have to repeat the first shot?” he asked. “I am sure this is also the question many of the more than 500,000 healthcare workers and senior citizens who chose the British-Swedish vaccine have in mind.”