Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

The government is planning to administer booster shots against Covid-19 to about nine million individuals in priority sectors before the end of the year, an official of the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 said on Tuesday.

( Photo Courtesy: Manman Dejeto/Rappler)

In an interview during the arrival of 682,360 Moderna vaccine doses at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1, NTF Special Adviser Dr. Teodoro Herbosa said these individuals belong to the A1, A2, and A3 priority groups – healthcare workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities, respectively.

“We are targeting 9 million. I’m hoping they will be administered soon to those in need of boosters. It can be done by yearend,” Herbosa said in Filipino.

He said the country’s current stockpile of Covid-19 vaccine doses is enough for both regular Covid-19 vaccination and booster shots, with the procurement for booster doses for the general public eyed to be included in the 2022 national budget.

“Health care workers, they’re about 1.9 million only. And then senior citizens and those with comorbidities, they are about nine million. So, we can cover that with our stockpile,” Herbosa said in Filipino.

As of Monday, he said a total of 42,000 Covid-19 booster shots have been administered to priority individuals in the country.

While the national vaccination days on November 29, 30, and December 1 will prioritize the unvaccinated, he said those in A1 to A3 priority groups may go to any participating vaccination sites during the event.

“We won’t turn away those who need boosters – priority A1, A2, A3 who will visit during the national vaccination days,” Herbosa said in Filipino.

During the three-day vaccination drive, he said the government is eyeing to administer about 15 million vaccine doses.

He noted that there are plenty of Covid-19 vaccine doses stockpiled, with the government now prioritizing its administration.

“Even if we target 15 million, we have three times as much as that in our stockpile — we really have a lot of vaccines. What we need are those who will receive and administer the vaccines,” Herbosa said in Filipino.

On Monday, the country began the administration of booster shots to the elderly and those with comorbidities as part of the national government’s Covid-19 vaccination drive.

Last Nov. 17, the government began the administration of booster shots to healthcare workers, offering their choice of vaccine brand.

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