Philippines OKs booster shots for health workers starting Nov. 17

Philippines OKs booster shots for health workers starting Nov. 17
Undated photo shows health workers in full personal protective equipment against COVID-19
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman, file

MANILA, Philippines — Health workers fully vaccinated for COVID-19 can begin getting booster shots starting November 17, the Department of Health announced Monday night.

The agency's pronouncement came as it said the Food and Drug Administration had issued an emergency use authorization for the booster doses. 

Authorities approved last month a government panel's recommendation to administer the shots by end of this year. 

DOH in a statement said it recommends using Moderna, Pfizer, and Sinovac as booster doses "regardless of the brand used for the primary series."

"Sinovac will also be offered as a booster for those that had Sinovac as primary series," it added.

Officials said final guidelines for the efforts would be released by the National Vaccine Operations Center later today. 

The Philippines began its inoculation drive in March, then struggling with issues on supply of the jabs, vaccine hesitancy, and twice a resurgence in coronavirus cases. 

Eight months later, some 31.57 million have since completed their COVID-19 shots. 

That translates to 40.93% of the government's target of inoculating 77.13 million this year. 

Some 38.14 million or 49.45% have received a first dose. This month, officials are targeting to ramp up daily vaccinations to a million to 1.5 million doses administered per day. — Christian Deiparine

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 12, 2021 - 11:01am

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)

November 12, 2021 - 11:01am

Starting December 1, the vaccination of employees required to work on-site will be mandatory in the public and private sector in areas with sufficient COVID-19 jabs supply.

"However, eligible employees who remain to be unvaccinated may not be terminated but they shall be required to undergo regular RT-PCR testing, or antigen tests, at their own expense," Malacañang says.

November 3, 2021 - 10:11am

The Philippine government is targeting to administer at least 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of November, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. says.

The government aims to achieve 1 million to 1.5 million jabs per day starting November 20.

To achieve this, Galvez says about 4,000 to 5,000 vaccination sites would be activated, including malls, universities, schools, gyms, camps and function halls of different government agencies.

October 27, 2021 - 10:56am

The Philippine government will start the full rollout of COVID-19 vaccination among minors aged 12 to 17 on November 5.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire says the guidelines are being drafted.

October 25, 2021 - 9:02am

The Health Technology Assessment Council of the Department of Health recommends the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for healthcare workers by fourth quarter of this year.

The council also recommends rolling out booster shots among eligible priority groups by next year.

HTAC says the recommendations are offered "in consideration of sufficient vaccine supply and acceptable coverage for primary vaccination."

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.

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