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DOH OKs 2nd booster shot for general adult population

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has finally approved the rollout of second booster shots against COVID-19 for the general adult population.

DOH officer in charge Maria Rosario Vergeire on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, said the second booster dose would soon be made available to individuals 18 years old and above, as soon as the implementing guidelines from vaccine experts are issued, possibly within the week.

3 brands

Only three COVID-19 vaccine brands—AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer—would be allowed to be given to the general public, the health undersecretary said at a press conference.

The decision, she said, was reached based on the “positive recommendation” by the Health Technology Assessment Council and on the updated emergency use authorization issued by the Food and Drug Administration to vaccine manufacturers.

Asked what convinced the DOH to expand the population that can take the second booster, Vergeire cited “science and evidence” as well as the agency’s earlier “commitment” to make it available to more segments of the community.

Priority groups

The approval does not cover younger age groups, she stressed. Adolescents 12 years of age and up may only receive the first booster doses, while children 5 to 11 years old are allowed to get only the primary COVID-19 shots.

As of March 16, more than 23.8 million people had taken the first booster dose, while only 4.4 million seniors, immunocompromised individuals and health-care workers—the first priority groups to qualify for a second booster—had taken that follow-up dose.

Of the 10.2 million teens who had been fully vaccinated, only 1.2 million, or 11.8 percent, got the booster.


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TAGS: booster, COVID, health, pandemic, vaccine
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