MANILA - Doctors administering extra doses of COVID-19 vaccines to patients can face sanctions, the health department said Monday, saying the agency has yet to approve the use of booster shots and the mixing and matching of jabs.
The statement comes after San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora reportedly received 4 doses of COVID-19 jabs after his doctor said that he is immunodeficient and may nee extra protection against the virus.
"Hindi kami na-inform (We were not informed) about this matter. This is something that they did between the individual and physician," Health spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online press conference.
"Mixing and matching booster doses ay hindi pa narerekomenda ngayon dahil hindi pa kumpleto ang ating ebidensya," she said.
(The mixing and matching of boosters is not recommended right now because the evidence is still incomplete.)
Vergeire said sanctions may be imposed against doctors administering different brands of COVID-19 jabs to their patients as Health officials have yet to authorize the safety and effectivity of mixing and matching vaccines.
"Sana sumunod tayo, mag-align tayo sa protocols ng gobyerno," she said.
(I hope we all follow, align with the government's protocols.)
"Kapag may violations po tayo sa mga ganito ay maaari tayong magkaroon ng sanctions," she said, without specifying possible penalties.
(There may be sanctions if there are violations in these incidents.)
In May, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said it would begin a study on the effect of jabbing Filipinos with different types of COVID-19 vaccines.
The government earlier said the Philippines would maintain its 'single brand' policy for COVID-19 inoculation while the study has yet to be completed.
The Department of Health has also discouraged Filipinos from taking COVID-19 booster shots as authorities have yet to recommend these.
Vergeire earlier said it will not recommend the use of booster shots while vaccine supply remains limited.
"Itong mga booster hindi din po din natin hinihikayat sa ngayon because we want to focus on equity."
(We are not encouraging anyone to get the booster because we want to focus on equity.)
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