MANILA - The Philippines' vaccine expert panel will “officially recommend” to the Food and Drug Administration to allow COVID-19 booster shots 3 months after the second dose, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said Thursday.
Duque made the remark after two omicron variant cases were confirmed on Wednesday in a returning Filipino from Japan and a Nigerian national.
Seven of 8 close contacts of the cases have been identified and tested negative for COVID-19. The remaining close contact is being verified, said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
The FDA earlier allowed the use of Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Pfizer as COVID-19 booster shots for individuals who received their second vaccine dose at least 6 months prior or 3 months prior for those who received a jab of Janssen.
The Philippines has fully vaccinated 42.6 million individuals, while 55.6 million have received an initial dose as of Wednesday, according to DOH data.
More details to follow.
--With a report from Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News