This Tuesday, the Department of Health (DOH) called on local governments to be critical in distributing the second booster against COVID-19.
According to the DOH, experts do not yet have the recommendation to give the general population a second booster.
Based on the guidelines, only senior citizens, those with comorbidity and immunocompromised, and health workers should receive the second booster.
“Alam naman natin na ‘yong ibang citizens and LGUs (local government units) would always say minsan may high blood pero wala naman. So sana maging mapanuri tayo. Ang LGUs gusto nating bigyan ng paalala na maging mapanuri sa pagbibigay ng second booster,” said DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire.
According to Vergeire, if the second booster is injected now into a person not part of the eligible population, his vaccination with bivalent vaccines may be delayed even more when it arrives in the country.
It is said that the DOH is now waiting for the recommendation of the experts for the third booster using bivalent vaccines.
Other countries have been ahead of the curve in its distribution, especially continuing to record a new sublineage of the omicron variant of COVID-19.
“Ito ‘yong isang rason kung bakit tayo bumibili ng bivalent vaccines. Dahil mayroon na initial studies ngayon na [nagsasabing] kinakailangan natin makapagbigay ng bivalent,” said Vergeire.
LGUs told to be mindful of giving 2nd booster – DOH
Based on DOH data, the number of confirmed cases of BQ.1 sublineage of omicron has increased by one.
Meanwhile, “Bakan Vaccination” continues until Wednesday.
Children are said to be a priority in the program, but the vaccination of the eligible population is said to be ongoing.
Last week, Senator Pia Cayetano stated that up to 31.3 million COVID-19 vaccines are being wasted nationwide.
The Health Department informed Cayetano, who sponsored the DOH budget, that the number of doses wasted was a portion of the 250.8 million doses the Philippine government had received since it started its effort to immunize its citizens against the viral disease.
The senator was informed by DOH that only 171.2 million COVID-19 vaccines had been given.
According to Cayetano, the 31.3 million dosages that were discarded cost P15.6 billion.
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