MANILA — Dozens of senior citizens and health workers flocked to different vaccination sites in Metro Manila on Thursday, as the Philippine government expanded the administration of second COVID-19 booster shots to the said priority groups.
In one jabbing site at a mall in Makati City, 62 individuals at least 60 years old, and 8 medical frontliners got their additional booster as of Thursday noon.
Six other sites in the city are rolling out the booster shots.
Assistant City Health Officer Dr. Roland Unson said eligible individuals who received their primary vaccinations in Makati may walk in without an appointment to jabbing sites.
They only need to bring their vaccination card, valid ID, and proof that they belong to the priority groups eligible for a second booster.
Those who had not gotten their primary jabs in Makati will need to pre-register to avail of the second booster.
The same requirements will be needed for those who will get their second booster shot in Mandaluyong City.
As of 11 a.m. Thursday, 23 senior citizens and six health workers received it at the jabbing site in the city hall.
Among them was a nurse at the city health office, Romelyn Pillado, who expressed concern over the local transmission of the more contagious Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1.
“Noong nag-COVID ako, wala pa kaming bakuna noon, so grabe ang lumabas sa akin na symptoms... Mabuti na ‘yung safe ka,” she said.
(When I had COVID, we did not have a vaccine then, so the symptoms I had were severe. It's better to be safe.)
Mandaluyong City’s Assistant Vaccine Coordinator Dr. Audren Wong said that for now, the additional booster dose is being administered in only one site.
But she added that the local government plans to eventually expand its rollout to more health centers, and schedule house-to-house vaccination for bed ridden patients.
In Valenzuela, meanwhile, second boosters for health workers and the elderly also began Thursday morning.
The Valenzuela Medical Center targets to administer more than 400 of its remaining Pfizer jabs on Friday, and plans to request for additional vaccines for its over 700 eligible health workers.
“Matagal na nilang gustong magkaroon ng second booster… Nagse-surge din kasi sa ibang bansa… Aware sila na kailangan nila ng proteksyon before mag-surge,” VMC Vaccination Team Head Dr. Jeffrey Capian said.
(They've wanted to have a second booster for a long time now, because of the surges in other countries. They are aware that they need protection before a surge.)
The Department of Health on Wedneday greenlighted the administration of second booster shots on health workers and senior citizens, who received their first booster at least 4 months ago.
They may choose between the mRNA vaccines manufactured by Moderna or Pfizer for their additional booster.