Sinovac, AstraZeneca COVID-19 booster jabs initially available in drugstores, clinics

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 20 2022 01:23 PM

A health worker administers the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot during a symbolic vaccination as part of the government's
A health worker administers the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot during a symbolic vaccination as part of the government's "Resbakuna sa Botika" at the Generika Drug Store, in Taguig City on Jan. 20, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News



MANILA — Two COVID-19 vaccine brands will be available in drugstores and clinics during the trial run of their booster jab rollout, the Department of Health said on Thursday. 

“Initially, ang ibibigay natin ay Sinovac at saka AstraZeneca kasi dapat maging gamay ng ating mga pharmacies, iyong magbabakuna, iyong mga bakuna,” said DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje. 

(Initially, we will give Sinovac and AstraZeneca because our pharmacies, the personnel, should get used to handling the vaccines.)

Both vaccines can be stored in regular refrigerators, noted Cabotaje, who chairs the National Vaccination Operations Center. 

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The weeklong pilot COVID-19 vaccination started at 4 Metro Manila drugstores on Thursday, and would include 3 more pharmacies and clinics on Friday. 

After an evaluation, the program will be expanded across Metro Manila. It might be launched in other parts of the country by the second or third week of February, Cabotaje said. 

“After the phase 1 or the phase 2, tingnan natin kung puwede nang bigyan ng ibang bakuna kasi iyong Pfizer saka Moderna kaunting sensitive sa handling,” she said in a televised public briefing. 

(After the phase 1 or the phase 2, we will see if they can be given other vaccines because Pfizer and Moderna’s handling is sensitive.)

Government tapped clinics and drugstores to help in the vaccination drive after COVID-19 cases hit health workers. 

“In the long run, kung maganda ang kinahinatnan, malaking tulong sa ating mga local government units ang extra vaccination site, ang mga extra hands,” Cabotaje said. 

(If the results are food, extra vaccination sites, extra hands will be a big help to our local government units.)

COVID-19 cases hit record highs several times this month, driven by the highly contagious omicron variant. This has brought overall infections to 3.29 million, with 53,044 deaths, prompting government to tighten restrictions. 

 

About 56.4 million of the Philippines’ 109 million people have been fully vaccinated so far.