MANILA (UPDATE) — The Philippines eyes administering booster and third COVID-19 vaccine doses to priority groups by Nov. 15, an official leading the effort said.
"Pinagpapaplanuhan na rin po natin iyong tinatawag nating booster doses at third dose rollout," vaccine "czar" Carlito Galvez Jr. said in a taped meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte that aired on Wednesday.
(We are planning the so-called booster doses and third dose rollout.)
"Iyong ating first phase po, iro-roll out po natin ay para sa health workers. At ito po ay magkakaroon tayo ng guidelines sa Nov. 5... Ang ating projected implementation is Nov. 15," he continued.
(We will roll out our first phase to health workers. We will release guidelines on Nov. 5. Our projected implementation is Nov. 15.)
But he said authorities would have to wait for guidance from the policy team, the revised emergency use authorization of vaccines that would be used, and the recommendation of experts advising the World Health Organization.
If these requirements are met, there will be a "simultaneous" Nov. 15 rollout of third and booster shots to immunocompromised senior citizens and individuals, said Galvez, who serves as chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19.
The country's vaccine supply is enough to accommodate the rollout of additional and booster shots, Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said.
It has received 108 million vaccines and deployed 87 million jabs, while 21 million are "already on their way to being delivered" as of Oct. 31, Cabotaje added.
"We have enough vaccines, 21 million nandyan sa (storage). We will have enough vaccines for our booster," she said.
Some 1.5 million health workers and 4.6 million senior citizens have completed their coronavirus inoculation so far, based on Galvez's slideshow. Around 7.4 million persons with comorbidities have been fully vaccinated, according to Cabotaje.
The Philippines has recorded some 2.7 million overall coronavirus infections and 43,404 deaths. At least 27.4 million of the 109 population have been fully inoculated so far.
This November, authorities eye administering 15 million vaccine doses, said Galvez.
Other government goals include fully vaccinating the following, he said.
- At least 90 percent of teachers, students, and school personnel
- 50 percent of the target population in priority areas like Calabarzon and Central Luzon
- 70 percent of senior citizens
Video courtesy of PTV