The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said it was in favor of administering a third Covid-19 vaccine dose to immunocompromised Filipinos.

Its representative to the Philippines, Dr. Rabiya Abeyasinghe, told a Palace briefing that a third dose could help people with compromised immune responses develop “full immunity” against Covid-19.

“For these individuals, WHO is now recommending an extended primary course which includes a third dose,” he said. “At the same time, we are also looking at the evolving evidence from individual vaccines and you know, we had some concerns initially about the capacity and the immunogenicity of some vaccine brands.”

The third dose for immunocompromised people is not a booster shot, the WHO representative stressed.

“I want to differentiate this from the concept of boosters which we generally talk about for general populations. So, this is specifically for those at risk because of their immunocompromised conditions who are unable to develop and sustain the required level of protection from the primary course of two doses or one dose,” he said.

Abeyasinghe also recommended a third dose for Sinovac and Sinovac recipients who work as medical frontliners, have co-morbidities and are senior citizens.

“We don’t have a recommendation for the general population,” he said.

More than 23 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 since the Philippines started its inoculation drive. John Ezekiel J. Hirro