Booster jabs encouraged amid slight uptick in COVID cases: DOH


Posted at Apr 25 2023 09:23 AM

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MANILA – A Department of Health (DOH) official on Tuesday said more Filipinos must get their COVID-19 booster doses amid an uptick of cases in the country. 

The Philippines recorded 3,148 COVID-19 cases in the past week. From April 17 to 23, an average of 450 daily infections were logged in the country, which is 32 percent higher compared to the previous week.

“Kailangan pa nating palakasin doon sa mga targeted population natin tulad ng mga senior citizen, mga elderly natin, dahil 82 percent pa lamang sa kanila ang fully vaccinated, at 30 percent pa lamang ng ating target population ang na-boost,” DOH Epidemiology Bureau Director Dr. Alethea De Guzman told TeleRadyo.

(We need more boosters for our targeted population--among senior citizens, only 82 percent are fully vaccinated, and only 30 percent of our target population have received boosters.)

De Guzman noted that the omicron subvariant is still the most predominant variant in the Philippines.

She attributed the increase in cases, however, to increased mobility.

“Pero kung bakit tumataas, mapapaliwanag siya by number 1, tandaan natin, katatapos pa lamang ng Lenten season, where a lot of people went out, nakita natin na mas madalas na tayong nagkikita-kita, at mas mobile na tayo.”

(Cases may have risen because number 1, the Lenten season just finished and a lot of people went out. We see each other more often, and we are more mobile.)

“So it’s all of these things coming together that may have led to these new cases in the recent weeks,” she explained. 

The DOH has signed a set of guidelines for the use of a second COVID-19 booster to the general population.

Those eligible to receive the fourth jab include anyone over 18, pregnant and lactating women, and immunocompromised individuals.

--TeleRadyo, 25 April 2023