Expert: Third dose needed sooner if vaccine data shows waning immunity

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 22) — The government's Vaccine Expert Panel said it may have to recommend the use of a third dose sooner if data it is looking into will show waning immunity, as COVID-19 variants cause more concerns.

"If we get enough data on waning immunity for instance...we may have to recommend this third dose sooner than later" - especially for those who are more susceptible to infections like senior citizens and people with comorbidities - Vaccine Expert Panel head Dr. Nina Gloriani told CNN Philippines' The Final Word.

She said they are currently meeting with other experts in the country and are monitoring developments abroad. They are also waiting for more data overseas, as well as data from the local study that started in the Philippine General Hospital, which will determine the anti-body levels among vaccinated Filipinos, Gloriani added.

Interim data regarding the local analysis is expected by October or November, she said.

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

For now, Gloriani noted that they cannot say there is a need for a third dose as coronavirus shots being used still give protection against the variants "to different degrees."

She also emphasized the importance of receiving both doses since getting only one shot lowers the vaccine's efficacy.