CHR supports call to prioritize health workers in COVID-19 vaccine booster shots

CHR supports call to prioritize health workers in COVID-19 vaccine booster shots
Senior citizens with comorbidity and frontliners line up at Pinyahan Elementary School in Quezon City during the continuation of inoculation of Sinovac vaccine on April, 14, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights said Monday that it supports vaccine czar Carlito Galvez’s earlier statement to prioritize healthcare workers in the administration of booster shots, when already allowed by the government.

CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia stressed that to sustain the country’s efforts amid the pandemic, medical frontliners must be equipped with the right amount of protection.

“As we await further recommendations from the Vaccine Expert Panel of the Department of Science and Technology, the Commission remains hopeful that should the administration shoots be approved, ample vaccine supplies will be ready for medical workers and immunocompromised individuals,” she added.

The CHR spokesperson cited Galvez’s statement on September 13 on booster shots. He was quoted in a Manila Bulletin report as saying that healthcare workers are their priority since they have been inoculated six to eight months ago.

On the same day, the Department of Health, however stressed that its All Expert Groups (AEG) are still discussing giving booster shots and that as of September 13, no final recommendation has been made on the matter.

Continued vigilance, adherence to protocols

De Guia also noted that “[w]hile the World Health Organization has yet to recommend the use of booster shots, evidence and recommendations from medical experts suggest that some healthcare workers inoculated with certain vaccines may experience waning protection against COVID-19.”

She also noted that while breakthrough infections, or positive cases among vaccinated individuals, may “seem infinitesimal” at 0.00013 percent of 9.1 fully vaccinated persons, healthcare workers are increasingly at risk of infections due to the Delta variant.

“Ultimately, the best way we can stop COVID and its mutations is to prevent its transmission. There is no mutation with no replication,” De Guia said.

“Hence, the Commission urges everyone for their continued vigilance and exercise of health precautions during this pandemic,” she also said.

Health authorities on Sunday logged 19,271 new infections, bringing the national tally to 2,366,749 with 178,196 tagged as active cases.

As of September 19, 18.56 million Filipinos have so far completed their doses against COVID-19 while 22.853 million others are waiting for the second jabs. — Kristine Joy Patag

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: October 8, 2021 - 10:00am

A new thread on the Philippines' vaccination program in 2021 in the government's revised objective to reach "population protection." (Main image: The STAR/Michael Varcas, file)

October 8, 2021 - 10:00am

Another 2.1 million doses of Moderna and more than 661,100 doses of Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccines arrive at NAIA Terminal 1 on Friday morning.

The Moderna vaccines are procured by the government while the Astrazeneca jabs were bought by the private sector.

August 23, 2021 - 12:22pm

As of August 22, about 12% of the estimated 109 million population have been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to date from the pandemic task force.

  • First dose: 17,258,675
  • Second dose: 13,130,485
  • Total doses administered: 30,389,160
August 20, 2021 - 10:13am

An additional 582,500 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Friday morning.

It is part of the private sector's "A Dose of Hope" program, pioneered by Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion.

August 9, 2021 - 2:56pm

An estimated 10.45% of the 109 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 between March 1 and August 9, according to government data.

  • Total doses administered: 24,479,750
  • First dose: 13,087,781
  • Second dose: 11,391,969
August 3, 2021 - 5:56pm

The Philippines on Tuesday receives 3,000,060 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines donated by the United States.

The latest donation is part of the P1.38 billion assistance of the US government to the Philippines since the onset of the pandemic.

Last month, more than 3 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines from the American government arrived in the country.


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