As Omicron spreads overseas, PH to inoculate adults with COVID vaccine boosters

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2021 12:06 PM | Updated as of Dec 01 2021 01:12 PM

Quezon City residents receive their COVID-19 vaccine dose at the Batasan Hills National High School on Nov. 29, 2021, the start of the
Quezon City residents receive their COVID-19 vaccine dose at the Batasan Hills National High School on Nov. 29, 2021, the start of the "National COVID-19 Vaccination Day". Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Philippines' adult population will be given COVID vaccine boosters "in the next couple of days," the Department of Health said Wednesday, as the threat of the new Omicron coronavirus variant made vaccination more urgent. 

The Philippines is already finalizing guidelines for providing COVID-19 booster shots for all adults, said Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, who chairs the National Vaccination Operation Center. 

"The EUA (emergency use authorization) has been approved, we will just finalize the guidelines," said Cabotaje.

"In the next couple of days, we will have the boosters for all the 18 years old and above," she said in a televised public briefing. 

The Philippines earlier this month started giving booster shots to health workers, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals. 

The drug regulator approved 4 vaccine brands as third or booster shots, namely Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, and Sputnik Light. 

The country has been dealing with one of Asia's worst COVID-19 outbreaks and its vaccine rollout has been slower than many neighbors, with just over a third of its 109 million population inoculated.

Omicron, which the World Health Organization has described as a "variant of concern," has yet to be detected in the Philippines. Its spread however has sparked global travel restrictions and rattled financial markets. 

— With reports from Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News; Reuters 

Video Courtesy of PTV