DOH: PH to start rollout of 2nd COVID-19 booster next week
MANILA, Philippines — The national government will start administering a second dose of the COVID-19 booster to vulnerable sectors by next week, April 25, a health official said Friday.
Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, who is also the head of the National Vaccination Operations Center, said the rollout of the second booster shot will begin on Monday, April 25.
“We’re going to start it by Monday because we need to resolve three points,” Cabotaje said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
“We are going to start it on Monday and we’re going to do it nationwide. No more NCR Phase 1. We would like to roll it out nationwide, immediately on Monday, after we have discussed the guidelines with our implementers,” she added.
Cabotaje said among the issues that have to be resolved before the rollout is the identification of those included in the immunocompromised sector.
Meanwhile, Cabotaje added that using a different COVID-19 vaccine brand as a second booster shot will be “more effective,” echoing the recommendation of the government’s Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP).
“A different brand will be more effective because it tries to give additional protection outside of the regular or the homologous primary booster,” Cabotaje said.
“They are thinking that it will have a better effect, it’s a complementary effect to the original vaccine doses that have been given,” she added.
Based on government data, 12.6 million Filipinos have so far received their third dose or booster shot.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Friday said he has approved the administration the second COVID-19 dose for immunocompromised individuals.
Duque clarified that the second booster shot is only for only immunocompromised individuals and does not yet cover health workers and senior citizens.
“Ito’y nililimitahan muna natin para doon sa mga indibidwal na immunocompromised. Sa ngayon, ang aking inaprubahan, batay sa recommendation ng Health Technical Advisory Council, ay ‘yung 2nd booster dose para lang mga immunocompromised na mga pasyente,” Duque said in a Laging Handa public briefing.
(This is only limited to immunocompromised individuals. For now, I have approved, based on the HTAC recommendation, the administration of the 2nd booster dose for the immunocompromised only.)
Duque said those to recieve the second COVID-19 booster shot are the following:
-patients who underwent organ transplants
-patients taking medicines for immunosuppressives
-patients with primary immunodeficiencies
Duque said health experts are set to study data on the second COVID-19 booster shot for healthcare frontliners and senior citizens next week.
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