With no guidelines yet, Cebu City Health cannot inoculate booster shots
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Cebu City Health Department (CHD) cannot inoculate booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine yet.
CHD officer-in-charge, Doctor Jeffrey Ibones, said the Department of Health (DOH) has not issued any guidelines for booster shots even if they did approve booster shots for A1, or health workers, to A2, or senior citizens priority groups.
Without it, there is no policy for inoculating booster shots that would be legally recognizable in the country’s vaccination system.
“Unfortunately, sa giingon sa DOH nga wa pay guidelines, paabuton lang nato. Wait lang ta gamay,” said Ibones.
The CHD was placed on hot seat after one of the vaccination sites denied inoculation to a trader who privately procured vaccines.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) representative on site informed the family of the trader that they would not be able to get the booster shot despite procuring the vaccine privately.
Ibones explained that the city government is bound to the guidelines of the DOH, so without it, there is no possibility of the agency inoculating booster shots.
Even if the vaccine is privately procured, the vaccination system is still tied to the national database, of which the City Health updates with its own data gathered from the vaccination program.
The doctor said that even if they get a booster shot privately, this will not reflect in the system because it was not done with authorization from the government.
“Naa may uban nga ang gusto nila moreflect kay katong ilang booster shot. Dili na mahimo kay ang katong first ug second dose nila man gyod ang mogawas,” said Ibones.
Still, Ibones understands the demand for booster shots from those inoculated first as the fear that the vaccine’s effectivity may be wearing out.
In fact, health care workers are also appealing to finally get booster shots of the vaccines as they are the most exposed to the virus when treating COVID-19 patients.
“Even kami ganahan sad mig booster gamay lang pasensya, kasabot ra mi sa inyo feeling,” he said.
The CHD is confident the guidelines for booster shots would be released before the year ends.
It is important because the CHD needs to know if booster shots can be from a different brand from the first and/or second dose. There will be a need to set up safety precautions.
For now, the CHD appeals for patience from those seeking booster shots to wait until the guidelines will be released.
READ MORE: Cebu City Health: No booster shots yet
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