DOH eyes regular public access to COVID-19 jabs | Inquirer News

DOH eyes regular public access to COVID-19 jabs

/ 05:42 AM December 09, 2022
The Department of Health (DOH) plans to make COVID-19 vaccination part of the primary health-care services available by next year to make it much more accessible to the public.

Department of Health Officer-In-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire during the press conference on Nov. 4, 2022 at DOH Central Office. INQUIRER.net/Noy Morcoso

The Department of Health (DOH) plans to make COVID-19 vaccination part of the primary health-care services available by next year to make it much more accessible to the public.

According to DOH officer in charge Maria Rosario Vergeire, COVID-19 vaccines will be integrated into the national immunization program, or the inoculation of newborns, children, pregnant women and the elderly against vaccine-preventable diseases.

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“When they go to a health center next year for [routine immunization], COVID-19 vaccination will also be offered to them,” Vergeire said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

Putting up or reinstalling mega vaccination sites would no longer be necessary because people could just go to health centers, she added. The DOH, meanwhile, is still tallying up the final accomplishment rates for the “Bakunahang Bayan” vaccination campaign from Dec. 5 to Dec. 7. For the first day, a total of 8,302 children age 5 to 11 were inoculated against COVID-19, its records showed.

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Doses for kids

The DOH aims to vaccinate 60 percent of children in this age group with primary doses by the end of the year.

For 2023, it is looking at purchasing bivalent vaccines, which are designed to fight off the Omicron and original strains of COVID-19.

“Hopefully, by January, we are able to finalize the agreements [with vaccine makers] and we can finally receive the doses,” Vergeire said.

The emergency use authorization for the bivalent vaccines, as well as the recommendations from the Health Technology Assessment Council, including which priority groups should be the first in line to get inoculated, are expected to come out soon, she added.

RELATED STORY:

DOH: 44 million COVID-19 vaccine doses wasted in PH

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