Concepcion airs concern over slow booster uptake | Inquirer News

Concepcion airs concern over slow booster uptake

/ 05:38 AM March 25, 2022

A senior resident of Navotas City receives her COVID-19 booster shot. Image from Facebook/ Navoteño Ako-Navotas City PIO

FILE PHOTO: A senior resident of Navotas City receives her COVID-19 booster shot. Image from Facebook/ Navoteño Ako-Navotas City PIO

Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion is urging those who have yet to receive their COVID-19 booster shot to get it as soon as possible, saying many vaccines currently in stock are due to expire in June.

In a statement on Thursday, Concepcion cited data from the National Vaccination Operation Center showing that while fully vaccinated individuals nationwide were at 73 percent as of mid-March, only 13 percent had received booster shots.



In the highly vaccinated National Capital Region, only 30 percent had taken their boosters, while in the provinces—those with full-vaccination rates of 75 percent or higher—booster coverage so far ranges between 11 and 16 percent, the businessman added, noting that these were “not encouraging numbers.”


“You are never fully vaccinated unless you have been boostered,” Concepcion said. “While we are still okay right now, we cannot be sure about the second half of the year, when antibodies will wane for most (of the vaccinees).”

READ: Only 29 percent of eligible population have gotten booster shots, says DOH

Following the surge in Omicron variant cases in January, COVID-19 cases in the country continued to go down, with Metro Manila and some regions now deemed low risk for coronavirus transmission.

Concepcion reiterated that current vaccine stocks in the country are set to expire by June.

“Beyond that point, where will we get vaccines to address waning immunity? The vaccines are available here, right now, and we are encouraging the public to take them while they still can,” he stressed.

He expressed hope that widespread booster vaccinations would lead to the eventual lifting of the state of public health emergency in the country, which remains at the least restrictive alert level 1.


He also suggested redefining “fully vaccinated” as persons who have received a booster dose, and that vaccination cards have expiry dates and be replaced with booster cards. —CHRISTINE AVENDAÑO


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