Galvez: Gov’t ready to give 3rd shot vs COVID-19 to health workers once OK’d by WHO, DOH
MANILA, Philippines — The government is ready to administer “third doses” to health workers vaccinated against COVID-19 in March and April this year once there is a go-signal from health authorities, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Wednesday.
Galvez said the government is expecting bulk deliveries of vaccines this month where they could allocate doses for the “re-vaccination” of health workers inoculated in March and April.
He said the government is basing their planning on regular global updates on COVID-19, studies, and peer-reviewed journals.
“Nakikita natin ‘yung vaccination cycle is annual, hindi pwedeng one-time big-time ‘yung vaccination,” he added in an interview in a vaccination event in Taytay, Rizal.
(We are seeing that the vaccination is annual, it can’t only be a one-time big-time.)
However, he clarified that the government is still waiting for the go-signal from the Department of Health (DOH) and the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the administration of third doses or booster shots.
“Baka once nagkaroon na ng approval ang WHO at DOH na pwede na bakunahan ang health workers ng third dose, mayroon na tayong nakalaan,” he added.
(So that once we get the go-signal, we already have set aside some doses.)
The possible rollout of third doses may occur in November 2021 or January 2022, Galvez said.
The talk on booster shots was bolstered when the COVID-19 Delta variant started to spread all over the country and there were reports that antibodies developed by the China-made vaccines “wane” after about six months.
The Philippines is so far not yet giving booster shots but the country’s vaccine experts panel have recommended the administration of booster shots to health workers to give them additional protection, especially with the presence of more contagious variants such as Delta.
In the early stages of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program, health workers mostly received China-made Sinovac vaccines since it was the brand available at the time.
The World Health Organization has called for a moratorium on giving out COVID-19 booster shots until the end of 2021, since millions of individuals worldwide have yet to receive a single dose.
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