New 'fully vaxxed' definition to cause confusion: DOH

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 01 2022 02:58 PM | Updated as of Apr 01 2022 04:03 PM

Members of the Manila Health Department inoculate residents against COVID-19 at the Ramon Magsaysay High School in Manila on Jan. 25, 2022 as the city opens up booster shots for walk-in non-residents working within its borders. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File
Members of the Manila Health Department inoculate residents against COVID-19 at the Ramon Magsaysay High School in Manila on Jan. 25, 2022 as the city opens up booster shots for walk-in non-residents working within its borders. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA (UPDATE) - Government's health experts have yet to recommend updating the definition of "fully vaccinated" to include COVID-19 booster shots because it will cause confusion, the Department of Health said Friday.

The proposal to change the meaning of full vaccination aims to raise the uptake of booster jabs, which have been received by only 12 million out of 65.9 million individuals with primary shots as of Thursday.

Experts studied other countries' practices such as the US, where those who received a booster shot only had their vaccination status updated, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

"Ang main reason bakit ayaw pa rin irekomenda ng ating mga eksperto na baguhin ang definition ng fully vaccinated is because it’s going to cause confusion since marami pa rin tayong mga kababayan na 'di pa bakunado," she told reporters.

(The main reason why our experts do not yet want to recommend changing the definition of a fully vaccinated individual is because it’s going to cause confusion since are still unvaccinated.)

"Pangalawa, ito pong primary series hanggang sa ngayon kahit kaunti may proteksyon pang binibigay sa atin."

(Second, the primary series still gives us some sort of protection.)

The redefinition can also cause confusion on whether COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory or voluntary, Vergeire said.

"Pag ni-redefine natin, baka magkaroon ho ulit ng confusion dun sa sinasabi nilang mandatory versus voluntary na pagbabakuna," she said.

(if we redefine it, there can be confusion again on mandatory versus voluntary vaccination.)

"Gusto lang natin ipatupad ang mas pina-practice sa ibang bansa, mas may ebidensiya tayo at sa tingin natin mas makakabuti para sa ating mga kababayan."

(We just want to implement what is being practiced in other countries, what has more evidence, and what we think will be better for our compatriots.) 

The DOH "in the coming days" will issue an advisory on the matter, Vergeire said. 

Meanwhile, government achieved 60 percent of its target population during its special vaccination days in 4 areas this week, the official said.

Some 32,826 persons were vaccinated in Cebu province, 42,986 individuals in Davao region, 1,621 in Soccksargen, and 12,606 in Bangsamoro, Vergeire said.

A total of 933,000 children ages 5 to 11 have been fully vaccinated, while 8.9 million children ages 12 to 17 have been inoculated so far, she added.

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Video courtesy of PTV