Duque signs recommendation for children’s booster shot

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has already signed the recommendation of the Health Technology Assessment Council regarding the vaccination of the first booster in children 12 to 17 years old who are against COVID-19.

According to Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, the Department of Health (DOH) is expected to release guidelines this Monday.

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Based on the amended emergency use authorization issued by the Food and Drug Administration on June 14, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is allowed to be vaccinated as a booster at ages 12 and older, at least six months after the second dose.

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Edsel Salvaña stressed that the booster shot is vital to increase protection against the highly contagious of COVID-19 and its subvariants. So he advises parents to booster vaccinate eligible children once the rollout has started for children aged 12 to 17.

“Klaro naman ang evidence, lalung lalu na Omicron talaga ‘yung umiikot ngayon. ‘Yung two is simply not enough anymore to significantly decrease the risk of COVID, lalung lalu na yung paghawa ng COVID. ‘Yung sa severe po kasi, bagamat nananatiling mataas ‘yung antas ng protection against severe, hindi siya kasing ganda compared to other variants of concern. For Omicron talaga, essential yung ating 1st booster,” said Salvaña.

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Nearly 9.5 million children aged 12 to 17 have the complete vaccine against COVID-19 in the Philippines. They are part of 70 million individuals in the country.

Duque signs recommendation for children’s booster shot

“This is our parting gift to the next administration. We hope our new leaders will also prioritize our vaccination program and continue to build an immunity wall among our people,” said National Task Force against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Sec. Carlito Jr.

About 14.7 million adults had the first booster shot, while more than 664,000 had the second booster.

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Salvaña reiterated that so far, a second booster has not been recommended to the general population, and it would be better for such a group of new vaccines to target the omicron itself.

He explained that, unlike vulnerable populations who benefit greatly when vaccinated with the second booster, there are not enough studies showing that the second booster’s benefits of the 2nd booster are also great for the general population.

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