Vaccine experts hope to give booster shot recommendations by end-2021

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 2) — Amid the threats posed by the more contagious COVID-19 variants, vaccine experts said they hope to provide recommendations on the use of a booster shot towards the third quarter or by the end of the year.

"We are monitoring closely so that maybe by the end of the year or towards he third quarter of the year we might be able to give some recommendation on the possibility of giving boosters or third shot," Vaccine Expert Panel head Dr. Nina Gloriani told CNN Philippines' The Final Word.

Gloriani explained that some currently available coronavirus shots can provide immunity for up to around nine months.

She said there are three possibilities the World Health Organization is looking into on what booster shot to give. One is the same vaccine that was initially given, second is an updated version - a combination of the prototype strain plus the variant strain, and third is an entirely new vaccine.

Gloriani added that many vaccine manufacturers are already studying the production of an updated version - with some using only one variant, while others include all.

Asked about the performance of vaccines available in the Philippines against the variants, Gloriani said the efficacy of Pfizer and AstraZeneca against the Delta variant is at 35% after one dose, which goes up to 80% after the second dose.

For Sinovac, she said it is important to get both doses to ensure better protection.

Gloriani also welcomed recent studies that showed the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine appears to provide adequate protection against the Delta variant.

READ: J&J COVID-19 vaccine lasts at least 8 months, protects against Delta variant, studies find