Booster shots for the general public possible in 2022

could be given to the general public next year, a government’s vaccine expert panel member said Thursday.

According to Dr. Rontgene Solante, the priority now is to give booster shots to health workers, followed by the elderly and those with comorbidities or illnesses.

“For the general public, it’s a different scenario because the general public is at risk but not as high risk compared dito sa mga first three [priority] groups of population,” said Solante.

On Wednesday, booster shots were given to health workers. Among the first recipients were staff from the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City.

According to Solante, unlike health workers, ordinary citizens may not be allowed to choose the brand of vaccine to be injected as a booster shot.

Meanwhile, for providing booster shots to senior citizens and immunocompromised are already being developed, which is expected to begin next week.

According to Dr. Edsel Salvana, a member of the Department of Health’s technical advisory group, the are expected to come out next week.

He said the policy of injecting booster shots to health workers might differ from the following priority groups.

Booster shots for the general public possible in 2022

“Tinitingnan, inoobserbahan rin po natin kung ilan ‘yong magkakaroon ng reaksiyon at kung mayroon pa po tayong mga karagdagang safety issues na kailangan i-consider,” said Salvana.

The vaccine expert panel has already recommended that the vaccine as a booster shot against -19 may be identical or homologous and different brands or heterologous.

OCTA Research warns that the vaccine’s effectiveness will weaken in 6 to 8 months, so booster shots will be needed to prevent the recurrence of -19 cases in the country.

But the DOH reminds us that there is nothing to worry about.

“Hindi po natin dapat magkaroon ng ganitong fear, kasi up until now, experts are reassuring us that whatever vaccines that you have received, even March pa kayo nag-umpisa or April, it’s still effective against severe diseases and deaths,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

At last record, 32.2 million have been fully vaccinated in the country.

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