MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Department of Health (DOH) said on Wednesday, May 18, that senior citizens and healthcare workers can now obtain their second booster shot against Covid-19.
“This is the moment we have all been waiting for. After careful study and consideration of the best available evidence, we shall now roll out effective immediately the second booster for our frontline health workers and senior citizens. This is part of how we fight back against the virus,” DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje stated in a statement.
The Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines will be used, and they will be given at least four months after the first booster dosage, according to the DOH.
“The administration of second booster doses to eligible individuals shall be implemented simultaneously nationwide, depending on the readiness of the Regional and Local Vaccination Operation Centers (RVOC/LVOCs), implementing units, and vaccination sites,” the DOH said.
According to DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, the second booster for the health workers and senior citizens would increase the protection provided by the first booster and primary series against all variations, including the latest Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1.
She added that a second booster helps strengthens the defense of healthcare personnel and the elderly. Everyone who is eligible can get their second booster shot at an LGU immunization clinic near them. She went on to say that they are “safe, effective, and free.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, May 17, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed local transmission of the more contagious Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1, which is quickly spreading across the United States.
BA.2.12.1 possesses both immune escape and enhanced transmissibility, according to experts. Experts say BA.2.12.1 spreads quickly and is up to 27 percent more transmissible than BA.2, the most common subvariant of Omicron in the Philippines and the rest of the world.
The Philippines had detected 17 cases of BA.2.12.1 as of Tuesday. 16 were acquired locally, with one being a returning overseas Filipino living in Western Visayas. – WhatALife!