‘No sufficient data’ on vaccines vs Covid-19 – Duque

A top official of the Department of Health (DoH) said on Friday there is “no sufficient evidence”
which indicates how long vaccines can provide protection against Covid-19.

During the meeting of the House of Representatives’ Special Committee on North Luzon Quadrangle Growth,
Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd was asked about the duration of the validity of vaccines
currently being administered in the country, specifically Sinovac and AstraZeneca.

“Sa ngayon po, wala pong sufficient data dahil bago lang po itong mga bakuna natin (As of now,
there is no sufficient data because our vaccines are new),” he said.

Duque said manufacturing firms are continuously working with research scientists to monitor the
antibody protection level of each of the developed vaccines.

“Not all vaccines are created equal, so each one has to really monitor, consolidate the data and
pursue further studies to see the antibody levels in persons who have been vaccinated by any
of the seven vaccines,” he explained.

The DoH chief further said the agency is not removing the possibility of adopting a “booster
dose policy.”

“Whether we need to adopt a booster dose policy — that remains to be seen — because we still
don’t have sufficient data precisely to establish how long these vaccines can provide protection,”
he said.

“We keep our ears to the ground to make sure whether there is a new report or new data to
support it — and when these vaccines we are now using might actually provide protection
beyond six months. In general, it may be between six to nine months,” Duque added.

Health experts said regular booster shots may be needed between nine to 12 months after
people are inoculated against Covid-19.