Senators back wider coverage of booster vaccination vs COVID-19

Residents receive shots against COVID-19 in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur during the three-day national vaccination drive. |Photo courtesy of Vigan City government

MANILA,  Philippines — More senators  now want more people to receive booster shots in light of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.

While the government has already  started giving booster shots  to priority groups, several business groups are urging government to also allow them to use their vaccines as booster shots for their employees and their families.

At least two senators—Senate  President Vicente “Tito” Sotto  III and Senator Sonny Angara—backed the call of the private sector.

“I concur if it is safe to do so,”  Sotto, who is seeking the vice presidency next year, said in a text message on Wednesday.

Though he agreed that  all eligible Filipinos must be vaccinated first,  the Senate leader wondered how long should  the government wait   before administering booster shots to more people.

“Ok unahin yung iba e paano kung ayaw nung  iba? Hintayin  natin pumayag?” asked Sotto, who is gunning for the vice presidency.

For Angara, the government should consider the request of the private sector if the booster shots would  give its workers greater  protection  against COVID-19 anyway.

“A lot of data has already been made available regarding the administration of booster shots to vaccinated individuals. If this will give our workforce greater protection against COVID-19 then this should be considered,” he said in a statement.

In separate  messages to reporters, Senate Majority Leader  Juan Miguel Zubiri  and Senator  Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III  also backed  the  wider  coverage  of booster  vaccination.

“Yes let us already adopt the attitude of ‘vaccination of the willing.’  Sino may gusto, bakunahan na! But give as booster shots only those designed or formulated as booster shot,”  Pimentel said.

“I totally agree, if there is still vaccine hesitancy then go ahead with the booster shots to A4. Let’s not waste the vaccines,”  Zubiri said.

JPV

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