MANILA — The Department of Health has issued guidelines that will allow adolescents to receive COVID-19 booster shots starting "tomorrow or in the coming days," its spokesperson said Wednesday.
"Na-issue na po natin ang guidelines coming from the DOH. Ngayong araw po na ito, meron na po tayong orientation sa ating mga local vaccine operations center," said Vergeire.
(The DOH has issued guidelines. Today we will hold orientations with our local vaccine operations center.)
"And hopefully tomorrow or in the coming days we will already start the booster shots for the 12 to 17 years old who are not immunocompromised," she said in a televised briefing.
Children ages 12 to 17 who are not immunocompromised can receive an additional dose at least 5 months after receiving their second jab, the DOH said.
They can register with the local government and the barangay, or walk in vaccination sites, the agency said.
Children and their parent or guardian should bring valid IDs, documents proving their relationship, and the kids' COVID-19 vaccination card, the DOH added.
Government initially rolled out the booster jab to immunocompromised teens, who are eligible to receive it 28 days after getting their primary series of vaccines.
In the meantime, Vergeire reiterated that the priority for now is for everyone to receive their first booster, following calls for the expansion of the implementation of the second booster.
"Para mai-expand sa ibang sector, nakasulat na po tayo sa FDA (Food and Drug Administration) kung saan nire-request natin na pagaralan ulit baka pwede i-expand sa 50-59 years old atsaka sa ating mga kababayang may comorbidities," she said.
(We've already written to the FDA and requested if it can look into expanding the implementation to include those 50-59 years old and persons with comorbidities.)
As of Monday, a total of 70.5 million persons have been fully vaccinated, of whom 15 million have received their booster shots and 40 million more were eligible to get an additional jab, according to DOH data.
Some 9.5 million teens and 3.4 million children ages 5 to 11 have received their primary series, while 792,000 health workers, elderly, and immunocompromised persons have received their second booster.
Video courtesy of PTV