9-M booster shots target attainable before end of Duterte’s term

Medical & Health

The administration of 8 to 9 million booster shots is possible to achieve before President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends on June 30, an infectious disease expert said Wednesday.

“Sa tingin ko attainable ‘yan kasi medyo bumagal lang nang konti during the election at saka mga campaign period (I think that’s attainable because the vaccination activities slowed down a bit during the election and campaign period),” Vaccine Experts Panel member Dr. Rontgene Solante said during a televised public briefing.

As of May 9, Department of Health (DOH) data showed that about 13.5 million fully vaccinated individuals have received their booster shots.

There are 37.8 million eligible individuals who have not received their additional dose of protection against Covid-19.

Solante said the DOH would focus again on its advocacy to encourage more people to get their booster doses “in preparation for possible surge of infections” in the midst of Omicron subvariants.

Omicron subvariants BA., B.4 and B.5 are known for their high transmissibility rate.

The BA. subvariant was responsible for the recent spike of cases in the United States while the B.4 and B.5 subvariants in South Africa.

The current Covid-19 vaccines have low effectivity rate against these subvariants.

“Gayunpaman, ang purpose natin dito, ang objective natin dito, mapaigting natin ang first booster sa population because based on data, kapag meron kang first booster or third dose, malaki ang chance natin ng (Our purpose, our objective, to strengthen first booster administration because based on data, if you have first booster or third dose, we have a big chance for) protection even when with these subvariants, especially against severe disease,” Solante said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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