New boosters vs COVID-19 sub-variants—kailangan nga ba?

| Written by Deina Blancaflor


In the latter part of 2022, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorized and recommended two updated COVID-19 boosters. These boosters target two Omicron sub-variants, BA.4 and BA.5.

These are bivalent vaccines, meaning they contain two messenger RNA (mRNA) components of the coronavirus. Half of the vaccine targets the original strain, while the other half targets the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variant lineages.

These mRNA boosters promised easier formulation and tweaking to counter the rapidly mutating COVID virus. What else do we know about these bivalent vaccines? How frequently should people be given a booster? Are bivalent vaccines readily available in the Philippines? 

This February 10, from 12nn to 2 pm, the University of the Philippines (UP), in partnership with UP Manila National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Telehealth Center (NTC), and in cooperation with UP-PGH, would like to invite you to join the fight against C.O.V.I.D—current COVID-19 problems, other outbreaks, viruses, infections, and disasters.

In this episode of the “Stop C.O.V.I.D Deaths” webinar series, titled “COVID-19 Bivalent Vaccine Boosters: Kailan nga ba ito?”, Dr. Razel Nikka Hao from the Department of Health (DOH) will share the latest data on booster rates. An update will also be provided on the inclusion of bivalent vaccines in the country’s vaccination program.

Dr. Maria Ofelia Ocana-Alcantara, former Mayor of the Municipality of Tolosa, Leyte, will reflect on the role of LGUs in strengthening the booster program for the government. Finally, Dr. Stella Marie L. Jose, Head of the Expanded Education and Training Office at UP-PGH, will deliver the synthesis and closing remarks.

Register here and catch our weekly live tweets and streams via the UP System Twitter account, TVUP’s YouTube channel, and Facebook page.

The award-winning UP “Stop COVID Deaths” Webinar Series is the Philippines’ first and only frontline-focused medical webinar series. It pioneered the discussion, dissemination, and adoption of knowledge on COVID-19 treatment and management. Follow our accounts to stay connected with your credible online community.