The Department of Health (DOH) released an advisory reminding the general public that COVID-19 booster shots are exclusively offered to the priority group of healthcare workers for now.
On November 17, the national government started giving out booster shots or additional vaccine doses to the healthcare workers.
Food and Drug Administration Director General, Undersecretary Eric Domingo, said in an interview with PTV that the additional vaccine doses will be available in areas with high vaccinees such as Metro Manila. He also said that this might change later on as availability of data increases.
Domingo also announced the four vaccines they have approved as boosters adding that they are working on adding more as requested by the DOH and also because these other vaccines are available in the country.
The DOH emphasized that primary doses are still a priority especially to the senior citizens, those with comorbidities, and indigent population yet to receive their first doses.
Domingo expounded that the population groups to receive additional jabs are healthcare workers with frequent exposure to coronavirus, immunocompromised individuals “who fail to mount an adequate response to primary series of vaccines…”, and persons aged 18 to 60 with comorbidities and at angreater risk of progressing to severe COVID-19 when infected.
Pfier BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sputnik, and Sinovac are the vaccines available as booster doses but differ according to their applied ammendment on their Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The DOH, on the other hand, is lobbying for the amendment of EUA of other vaccines such as Moderna and Janssen.
Meanwhile, DFA also announced that they have approved the EUA application of Covovax, also known as Novovax in the USA.
Covovax COVID-19 vaccine is a new type as its platform is a protein subunit manufactured by Serum Institute of India Private Limited.
Like most vaccines available today, it is two doses with three to four weeks apart or no longer than 21 days and is indicated safe to be given for 18-years-old and above.
According to the clinical trials conducted by the India-produced vaccine-maker, participants experienced very mild side effects and low adverse effects were reported. It also showed an efficacy rate of 89.7% and a good safety profile
Covovax is expected to be available in the country towards end of the year or early 2022.
Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Covaxin, Sputnik V, Sputnik Light, Janssen, and Moderna are the list of vaccines currenlty being used and distributed nationwide.