DOH aims to have bivalent vaccines available by Q1 2023
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) said that it intends to procure bivalent vaccines against COVID-19 and make them accessible to the public by the first quarter of 2023.
Bivalent vaccines are a type of vaccine that targets specific variants of COVID-19, like the more transmissible Omicron.
“As for the DOH, we are already coordinating with suppliers for the procurement of bivalent vaccines. We are targeting to have vaccines available by Q1 of 2023,” said the DOH in a written response on Saturday.
“We are also coordinating with potential donors of COVID-19 bivalent vaccines,” it added.
The DOH also explained that as of now, bivalent vaccines are still not authorized by the Food and Drug Administration as a substitute for the primary series vaccines, adding that even the United States Center for Disease Control recommends staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccination by completing a primary series and receiving a booster dose.
According to DOH, a total of 3,691,412 Filipinos have so far been inoculated with the second booster of COVID-19 vaccines as of Dec. 12.
“Out of the 1,196,107 eligible A1 population (healthcare workers), 592,202 are currently due for 2nd boosters doses,” said DOH.
It then reiterated that vaccination is not mandatory and that consent must always be required.
Current evidence also suggests that second boosters are still only recommended for A1, A2 (senior citizens), A3 (individuals either pregnant or with comorbidities) aged 18 and above.
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