April 18, 2022
MANILA — Health authorities aim to roll out this week the second COVID-19 booster shot for an initial batch of 1.8 million healthcare workers, elderly and immunocompromised patients.
The Department of Health (DOH) will start giving the second booster shot as soon as the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC), an independent advisory body, completes the review.
“The second booster shot rollout will start after the HTAC has given their recommendations,” Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said on Sunday.
“We are hoping [the rollout] will be [on] April 20 but it depends on the submission of the HTAC recommendations,” she added.
The DOH announced last week that the Food and Drug Administration has amended the emergency use authorization given to COVID-19 vaccines to allow giving an additional booster shot to front-line healthcare workers, persons 60 years old and above, and immunocompromised patients.
The second booster shot will be given at least four months after the first shot.
As concurrent head of the National Vaccination Operations Center, Cabotaje said 1,806,928 individuals were qualified to receive a second booster shot based on the four-month interval.
66.7M fully vaccinated
These consist of 1,559,833 individuals who received their booster shot last December and 247,095 individuals who received their booster shot last November.
They are among the 5.2 million individuals from the three priority groups — healthcare workers (A1), seniors (A2), and persons with comorbidities (A3) who have already received their booster shot.
The booster shot is given after completing the primary series of two doses, except for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is given as a single dose, to boost protection against serious illness or death from COVID-19.
Cabotaje said those who received their booster shots in January may receive their second booster shots by May.
As of April 11, more than 66.7 million individuals are fully vaccinated, including 9 million adolescents and 1.3 million children, according to the DOH.
The DOH said 12.5 million individuals have received their booster shots while 47.8 million eligible individuals have not received their booster shots.