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DOH pressed to ‘clarify’ stand on rollout of Covid booster jab

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Health reform group Kilusang Kontra Covid (KILKOVID) on Thursday urged the Department of Health (DOH) to “clarify with urgency” its stand on the need for anti-Covid-19 vaccine booster shots.

The group, through its President Dr. Tony Leachon, issued the statement pending the approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department of Health (DOH) for booster shots.

“In doing so, the DOH will alleviate the plight and fears of those who have been vaccinated as early as March 2021, which include many of our health-care workers,” the group said.

“If we will take this stand to provide booster shots for our people, doses should already be factored into the vaccine requirements for QTR4 2021 [fourth quarter of 2021],” the group added.

The KILKOVID said global resources and experiences from neighboring countries recommend booster shots six months after the primary series.

Currently, it said the US Food and Drug Administration has amended the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of Pfizer/Biontech Covid-19 vaccine to allow a booster dose 6 months after the initial inoculation to specific patients, including 65 years old and older; 18 years old to 64 years old at high risk of severe Covid symptoms; 18 years old to 64 years at high risk due to exposure at work or travel.

“We sincerely hope this to be decided and acted on with no further delay, as we all seek better protection and Covid management to further thrive in the new normal,” the health advocate group said.

According to the DOH, there remains to be no global consensus on the implementation of Covid-19 booster shots. Both the health department and the WHO agree that in consideration of the constraints in global supply of vaccines, administering boosters will aggravate inequity, as this will increase market demand.

Earlier, DOH said that the agency is planning for the eventual provision of booster doses, which will continue to prioritize the health-care workers and immunocompromised individuals. However, such rollout will only be green lighted once conclusive evidence of additional protection is available. The DOH said its policies and recommendations underscores principles of evidence-based medicine and equity.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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