The national government led on Monday, November 22, the ceremonial administration of COVID-19 booster shots to senior citizens (A2) and persons with comorbidities (A3) at the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC).
“Dahil sa malaking banta ng virus sa pangangatawan ng mga senior citizens napakahalagang makatanggap po sila ng karagdagang proteksyon,” National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. said during the event.
According to Galvez, the country has 6 to 8 million COVID-19 doses in its supply inventory consisting of different brands that can be administered as booster shots to the A2 and A3 priority groups.
The vaccine czar likewise reminded the public not to be complacent despite the decline in new COVID-19 cases, saying “Ang paalala lang namin ni Secretary [Francisco] Duque, ‘wag po tayo makumpyansa, maintain pa rin po natin ang proteksyon natin.”
Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said that senior citizens can choose either a homologous or a heterologous vaccine dose.
“Pwede silang pumili ng homologous o heterologous na booster vaccines. But of course, kung Sinovac ang kanilang kinuha, they have the option to use homologous Sinovac din or AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna as heterologous,” Duque said.
The task officials urged local government units to use the same pre-registration system for those receiving COVID-19 booster shots.
“Mas mabuti po ang pre-registration para mas maayos, mas mabilis, at ma-validate kung sino ang dapat mabakunahan,” said DOH Regional Director Dr. Gloria Balboa.
Meanwhile, Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Benhur Abalos reported that 89 percent of Metro Manila’s target population are now fully vaccinated while 96 percent received their first dose.
Among those who were inoculated at EAMC included Dr. Nina Gloriani of the DOST-Vaccine Expert Panel and Executive Director Dr. Jaime Montoya, executive director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD).