DOH approved booster shots in vac Priority group

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has approved the recommendation of the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) for Covid-19 vaccine booster shots and additional doses in the vaccination priority group.

The HTAC released an interim recommendation on Oct. 13 recommending that healthcare workers and senior citizens receive booster doses at least six months after completing the initial COVID-19 vaccination series.

HTAC and ALL expert groups according to NTF chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. gave a “positive opinion” about the administration of covid-19 vaccine booster shot.

“Nagpalabas po ng kanilang positive opinion ang HTAC at ang ating All Expert Group para kapag nag-start na po tayo ng boosters sa ating mga (The HTAC and All Expert Groups issued positive opinion so we start administering boosters to our) health care workers,” Galvez said.

If the initial series has been completed with adequate immunization coverage or 50%, booster doses may be delivered to eligible priority sectors such as A3 (those with comorbidities), A4 (economic frontliners), and A5 (poor population) by 2022.

“The rationale for the set threshold prior to implementation of booster includes ensuring maximum coverage for the primary series as the premature rollout of booster vaccination without attaining acceptable coverage would exacerbate existing inequities,” HTAC said.

Seven (7) million Covid-19 vaccine boosters were allocated for A1, A2, and A3 priority groups, from which two (2) million Covid-19 vaccine boosters will be allocated to A1 and five (5) million will be allocated to A2 and A3.

“We have enough doses for them. Regardless of brand, mayroon po tayo na nakatabi (we have set aside the vaccines),” Galvez said.

Vaccine Booster Shots

Pfizer jabs were also recommended as booster shots for those who had been injected with AstraZeneca, CoronaVac, or Moderna vaccinations.

AstraZenecaPfizer-BioNTeech – Based on JCVI
/ AstraZeneca
CoronaVac (Sinovac)Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca / Coronovac (Sinovac)
ModernaPfizer-BioNTech – Based on JCVI
/ Moderna

According to the council, AstraZeneca can be used for those who have been injected with CoronoVac (Sinovac)

Those who received Pfizer or Janssen immunizations should get the same brand for their booster.

Immunocompromised people, on the other hand, should have additional shots or a third dose of the same brand of vaccine at least 28 days following their first vaccination.

Galvez said they’re simply waiting for the All Expert Groups to decide if the vaccine would be heterologous (mixed) or homologous (same brand) and for the World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization to issue final guidelines.

DOH: Vaccination Priorities

Here are the following categories in vaccination program.

CategoryPriority group
A1Frontline health workers both national and local; public and non-public; health professional and non-professional (students, nursing aides, janitors, barangay health workers, et. al)
A2Senior citizens (60-years old and above)
A3Persons with comorbidities
A4Economic frontline workers in essential sectors including uniformed personnel.
A5Indigent Filipinos
B1Teachers and Social workers
B2Other Government Workers
B3Other Essential Workers such as grocery store workers, bank workers, retail workers, mall workers
B4Socio-demographic groups at significantly higher risk other than senior citizens and indigenous Filipinos such as persons deprived of liberty, persons with disabilities, Filipinos living in high-density areas, students
B5Overseas FIlipino Workers
B6Other remaining workforce
CRest of the Filipino population not otherwise included in the above priority groups

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