BOOSTER SHOT. Department of Health Sec. Francisco Duque III administers a booster shot to a healthcare worker at the NKTI on Wednesday (Nov. 17, 2021). Getting a booster shot is voluntary and those who opted to get one may choose their preferred vaccine brand. (PNA photo by Robert Alfiler)

MANILA – Fully vaccinated healthcare workers who opt to get a booster shot can choose their preferred Covid-19 vaccine brand, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

Under Department Memorandum 2021-0484, healthcare workers have the option to receive a homologous or heterologous booster dose depending on the availability of vaccine brands at the vaccination site.

Homologous dose is the administration of a vaccine from the same brand used to complete the primary vaccine series while the heterologous dose uses a vaccine from a different brand.

As a heterologous booster dose:

Individuals given Sinovac: may be given AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or Moderna

Individuals given AstraZeneca: may be given Pfizer or Moderna

Individuals given Gamaleya Sputnik V: may be given AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or a Moderna

Individuals given Ad26.COV2.s (Janssen):  maybe given AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or Moderna

Individuals given Pfizer: may be given AstraZeneca or Moderna

Individuals given Moderna: may be given AstraZeneca or Pfizer

Starting November 17, medical front-liners can receive their booster shots. In getting one, healthcare workers must inform the vaccination site in advance about their preferred brand for the preparation of the vaccines.

Vector-based vaccines like 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," the DOH said.

“Vaccine recipients with a previous history of adverse reactions after administration of Covid-19 vaccine – the elderly, people with comorbidities, people prone to blood clots, myocarditis, and anaphylaxis – shall consult their attending physician for the recommended boosting strategy,” the DOH said.

Health experts reiterate that all Covid-19 vaccines continue to protect against severe disease and deaths. (PNA)