Vaccine expert panel to recommend shorter COVID booster interval: Duque

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 16 2021 01:44 PM

Medical staff of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City prepares the COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to be administered to hospital workers on November 17, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Medical staff of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City prepares the COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to be administered to hospital workers on November 17, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News


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

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