Priority groups to get COVID-19 booster shots starting November – Galvez

By: Zacarian Sarao - Inquirer.net | October 26,2021 - 08:46 AM

MANILA, Philippines — The groups to be prioritized to get COVID-19 booster shots this November are healthcare workers, the immunocompromised, the elderly, and those who were vaccinated anytime from March to May, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the national vaccine manager, said in a taped briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte that aired late Monday night.

Galvez made the announcement after Health Secretary Francisco Duque III approved the recommendation by the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) to start administering COVID-19 booster shots to those in priority groups.

According to Galvez, two million doses will be allotted for healthcare workers and five million for the immunocompromised and the elderly.

“And we have enough doses, regardless of the brand. We have set them aside,” he said, speaking in a mix of English and Filipino.

“And then we foresee that most likely we will start by November — also consider those vaccinated during the months of March to May,” he added.

Galvez said that a total of 5,248,358 doses were administered during those three months.

“But this includes the first and the second dose. So most likely our target to be vaccinated is almost 3 million including health care workers.)

Heterologous vs. homologous vaccination

According to Galvez, the government is waiting for the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts of the World Health Organization to issue guidelines on which kind of vaccination will be allowed — heterologous or homologous.

In a homologous vaccination, doses from the same manufacturer will be administered to the same person.

On the other hand, in a heterologous vaccination, doses from different manufacturers will be administered.

“In this case, if your first two doses are from Sinovac, you may be injected with a dose from Pfizer or Moderna,” Galvez said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health has started processing the amendments of the emergency use authorization on different vaccine brands that will be used in the booster shots,  he said.

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TAGS: COVID-19 booster shots, Galvez, priority groups, starting November

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