Adopt CDC guidelines for 2nd boosters – Concepcion

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
Adopt CDC guidelines for 2nd boosters â Concepcion
An individual receives a COVID-19 vaccine at SM City Baguio on April 9, 2022.
National Task Force against COVID-19

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion is urging the advisory body to the Department of Health (DOH) to adopt guidelines used by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the rollout of second booster shots to help prevent a spike in COVID-19 cases.

In a statement yesterday, Concepcion said the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) should apply the guidelines already adopted by the CDC for second booster shots.

By doing this, he said the country can address the expiry of COVID vaccines, accelerate booster uptake and avoid a possible surge in infections amid the entry of new COVID variants.

Concepcion made the appeal following discussions with medical experts yesterday.

“The fact is that variants can reach the country and we should just better prepare for that by giving people the vaccines that will protect them,” he said.

HTAC is an independent advisory body providing guidance to the DOH and Philippine Health Insurance Corp. on the coverage of health interventions and technologies to be funded by the government.

At present, the HTAC is limiting second booster shots to the immunocompromised.

This is different from CDC’s criteria which cover persons who have received boosters four months prior, who are 50 years or older or those 12 years or older and moderately or severely immunocompromised.

The CDC also has provisions for those who received two doses of the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine who are 18 years or older.

“We should pattern the second booster shots after the CDC guidelines so we can have a better chance of protecting the vulnerable against COVID. I think the HTAC should change the manner by which they evaluate because we are in an emergency,” Concepcion said.

“The HTAC must understand that we have the supply and if they delay the approval, they can’t expect the NVOC (National Vaccination Operations Center) to deliver in a few weeks; (the vaccines) might expire,” Dr. Ted Herbosa, member of the Vaccine Expert Panel said.

For Herbosa, boosters, including the second booster shot, should be allowed for all categories.



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