DOH expands second COVID-19 booster rollout

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DOH expands second COVID-19 booster rollout
A medical worker prepares the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 at a gym in San Juan City, suburban Manila on February 7, 2022.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health has issued guidelines for the rollout of a second booster shot for people aged 50 and up, and individuals with comorbidities aged 18 to 49.

In a statement Tuesday evening, only the COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna will be used for the vaccination of the expanded population groups. The second booster dose must be administered at least four months after the first booster.

The agency advised eligible individuals to check with the announcements of their nearest local government unit or private sector vaccination site for the schedules.

They only need to present their vaccination card and a valid ID. A medical certificate is not required, even for those with comorbidities as there are doctors in vaccination sites who will assess and make the determination.

The DOH also launched a campaign aiming to administer boosters to 23.6 million individuals within the first 100 days of the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. The drive also seeks to immunize 90% of the target senior citizen population.

COVID-19 jabs will be made available in workplaces, factories, schools, places of worship, plazas, malls, and transport terminals.

“As vaccine immunity wanes over time, we are dedicated to helping our people remain protected against COVID-19. We are making it easier for as many of our people to avail of the primary series and boosters—including second boosters,” said Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, officer-in-charge of the DOH.

Since March 2021, over 71.5 million Filipinos have completed vaccination against COVID-19.

Nearly 16 million people have gotten the first booster shot, while only 1.2 million individuals, mostly belonging to the vulnerable population, have received their second booster dose.

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