DOH: Private firms can't use extra COVID-19 jabs as boosters for employees

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DOH: Private firms can't use extra COVID-19 jabs as boosters for employees
A medical worker counts syringes with the BioNtech-Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during the inoculation of the population aged 12-17 at a stadium in San Juan City, suburban Manila on November 3, 2021.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — Private companies cannot use their extra COVID-19 vaccine doses as booster shots for their employees, the Department of Health said Friday.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained the specifications in the emergency use authorization for the vaccines that can be used as boosters only covered healthcare workers, senior citizens, and immunocompromised individuals.

“To the companies which have ordered or procured additional doses, you are not allowed to give those to your employees as booster doses, unless they are senior citizens or those who have immunocompromised status as indicated in the EUA,” Vergeire said in Filipino during a briefing.

The health official said private firms can give their extra doses to the government to prevent wastage.

“You can undertake this loaning agreement in which the national government will take your vaccines and replace them with fresh stocks once companies need the jabs,” she said.

The Philippines began administering booster doses to health workers. They are allowed to choose the brand of their booster shot, depending on the availability of jabs in vaccination sites.

The government has yet to offer booster doses to the general population. The DOH said the rollout of boosters to other priority groups will be implemented through a phased approach.

Since the government began its vaccination drive in March, 32.99 million Filipinos have completed vaccination against COVID-19. Meanwhile, 40.92 million have received partial protection.

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