DOH: 2nd COVID booster soon open to public
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday announced that the second COVID-19 booster shot would soon be available to the general public.
DOH officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said it would be made accessible to the general population or health adults once the implementing guidelines for its administration are released.
“Batay sa updated emergency use authorization ng Food and Drug Administration at ang positibong rekomendasyon ng Health Technology Assessment Council, maaari na po nating magamit ang ating mga bakuna na meron tayo ngayon upang makapag-second boosters na ang general population o ang ating healthy adults,” she said in a press conference.
(Based on the updated emergency use authorization of the Food and Drug Administration and the positive recommendation of the Health Technology Assessment Council, we can already use the vaccines that we have now as a second booster for the general population or our healthy adults.)
“Kaya magpabakuna na tayo sa pinakamalapit nating vaccination sites sa ating local areas (So let us get vaccinated at our nearest vaccination sites in our local areas),” she added.
Only healthcare workers, the elderly, and people with comorbidities 18 years old and above are eligible for the second booster shot.
“Inaantay lang po natin na malabas natin ang implementing guidelines at maguumpisa na ho tayong magbakuna for our second boosters for our general population,” Vergeire further said.
(We are just waiting for the implementing guidelines to be released and we will start injecting the second booster shot for our general population.)
Unvaccinated infections rise
During the press conference, the DOH official further disclosed that the number of unvaccinated people who contracted COVID-19 increased by 13 percent in March.
She also revealed that 11 percent of the infected unvaccinated individuals admitted to hospitals died.
“Gayon din tumataas ang bilang nga mga hindi bakunadong nagkakaroon ng malala at hindi kritikal na kaso, kaya muling hinihikayat namin ang mga hindi bakunado na magpabakuna na para maiwasan ito,” said Vergeire.
(Similarly, the number of unvaccinated people suffering severe and non-critical symptoms is increasing, so we are again encouraging unvaccinated people to have already been inoculated to avoid this.)
As of March 16, a total of 78.4 million Filipinos have already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This count includes 7.2 million senior citizens, 10.2 million adolescents, and 5.6 million children.
More than 23.8 million Filipinos have received their first booster shot, while 4.4 million received their second booster dose.
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