Over 2,000 health workers given COVID-19 booster shots— DOH

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 20 2021 12:51 PM | Updated as of Nov 20 2021 12:52 PM

Medical staff of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City receive their COVID-19 vaccine booster dose on November 17, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Medical staff of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City receive their COVID-19 vaccine booster dose on November 17, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA— Over 2,000 health care workers have received booster shots since the rollout earlier this week, the Department of Health said Saturday. 

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said a total of 2,488 COVID-19 booster shots have been administered to health care workers nationwide.

Of the figure, only around 2 percent experienced adverse events, which included pain in the vaccination site, fever, and increased blood pressure.

"All of them were managed accordingly. Wala naman pong na-hospitalize at wala rin pong bad outcome," Vergeire noted in a public briefing. 

(No one was hospitalized and there was no bad outcome.) 

Vergeire added that they are still evaluating data on how many health care workers received homologous and heterologous booster COVID-19 doses. 

They would release the data after complete analysis, she added. 

A heterologous booster means that a person got a different brand of vaccine after their first 2 jabs, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said. 

A homologous combination, meanwhile, means that a person got a booster shot of the same vaccine brand. 

Meanwhile, guidelines for booster doses of senior citizens and immunocompromised people are still being finalized. It will be released "in the coming days," the health official said.

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez pointed out that the elderly and individuals with health risks could receive their booster doses "as early as next week" or by early December. 

"The major difference, ito pong sa ating senior citizens, at saka sa immunocompromised, tinitingnan po natin kasi it is medically indicated. At kailangan po kapag immunocompromised, kailangan 3rd dose," she said. 

(Those who are immunocompromised need a 3rd dose.)

"Although patuloy po nating ibibigay 'yung choice ng homologous or heterologous para sa kanila."

(We will still give them the choice to choose a homologous or heterologous booster shot.)

Philippine authorities this week started giving booster shots to health workers who already got a second COVID-19 vaccine shot 6 months ago.

On Saturday, the government also announced that boosters would soon cover overseas Filipino workers who must deploy within four months. 

The country has so far fully vaccinated nearly 33 million individuals as of Tuesday, while almost 41 million people have received their first dose.

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Video from PTV