Bivalent COVID-19 vaccines arrive from Lithuania
MANILA, Philippines — The first batch of bivalent COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the Philippines, consisting of nearly 400,000 doses donated by Lithuania.
The shipment arrived late Saturday night at Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“The donated bivalent vaccines will help boost the Philippines’ COVID-19 response by providing protection against the original COVID-19 strain, SARS-CoV-2 and Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5,” the Department of Health (DOH) said in a statement.
Based on the DOH guidelines issued on March 31, the COVID-19 bivalent vaccines will be given as the third booster dose to healthcare workers (A1 priority group) and the elderly who are 60 years old and above (A2).
The vaccination priority also covers the vulnerable population which includes individuals with underlying medical conditions and those who are immunocompromised, according to the DOH.
Eligible recipients may be given the bivalent jab after at least four to six months after their second booster shot, according to the DOH.
The DOH said it started negotiations to acquire bivalent vaccines in August last year and the government of Lithuania offered to donate bivalent COVID-19 vaccines in January this year.
The DOH said it continues to coordinate with COVAX Facility on global access to COVID-19 vaccines, to get more bivalent vaccines.
“We urge everyone to get the opportunity to gain longer and stronger protection by getting vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Health officer in charge Maria Rosario Vergeire.