MANILA, Philippines – At least 7 million doses will be allotted for the booster shots of healthcare workers, immunocompromised individuals, and the elderly against COVID-19, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Tuesday.
In a statement, Galvez said two million of these shots will be given to healthcare workers while the remaining 5 million will be allotted to individuals with co-morbidity and senior citizens.
“Sa healthcare workers, we will allot more or less 2 million doses and we have enough doses for them. Regardless of brand, mayroon po tayo na nakatabi,” he said.
“And then for the immunocompromised and elderly, we will be requiring 5 million, and we also have enough doses with the succeeding deliveries,” he added.
Galvez, who also serves as the chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19, said they are now preparing for the rollout of the booster shots following the recommendation of the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC).
Based on HTAC’s recommendation, the booster shots should be given within the fourth quarter of the year to health workers, the elderly, and persons with health risks who received the jabs at least six months after the primary series.
The HTAC also recommended that the boosters should be based on the vaccine brands received by the individuals in the primary series.
The HTAC also pushed for the implementation of boosters for other eligible population in 2022 only if the A1 to A5 priority groups reach 50 percent in the primary series.
The council also recommended the administration of a third vaccine shot for priority sectors.
While the government is waiting for the amendment of the Emergency Use Authorization for the vaccines to be used as booster shots, as well as the review from the DOH All Experts Group, Galvez said the NTF has started to secure supplies for the said priority groups.
The administration of booster shots may begin by November depending on the month a healthcare worker or immunocompromised was vaccinated, he added.
Individuals under these categories who were vaccinated in March, April, and May will be qualified to receive the booster shots.
Galvez said around three million individuals are expected to belong to this priority group.