In recent weeks, the country has seen a dramatic decline in new COVID-19 cases. However, the pandemic is far from over. It has been confirmed that the recently discovered Omicron variant is now present in the Philippines. As a precaution, the government has mandated stricter travel protocols, and the country remains under Alert Number Two for the time being.Â
Because the Omicron variant is known to be more transmissible than its predecessors, a lot of people have been worried about a possible new surge in cases. On the flip side, vaccine manufacturers such as Moderna and Pfizer have confirmed that getting booster shots provide some protection from the new variant rampaging across the globe.Â
In order to protect Filipinos from the Omicron variant and COVID-19, in general, the Department of Health (DOH) announced that the interval for the administration of booster doses shall be shortened, following the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).Â
Under this new policy, booster shots can now be administered to adults who received their first two doses after three months. Those who received a single shot vaccine can get inoculated with a booster after two months. This policy is effective starting December 22, which means you can get your booster already if you had your second dose before September 22.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the fast track of booster inoculations, following the recommendation of vaccine experts in the country.
“We are exploring all possible options to safely mitigate the effects of more transmissible variants of COVID-19. The approval came at an opportune time as several countries also re-strategized in light of the Omicron and other COVID-19 variants that may emerge,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
In addition to this, Secretary Duque encouraged people who haven’t been vaxxed yet to get their jabs once they have the opportunity to do so. “We call on our local government units to encourage their constituents to get vaccinated, especially the unvaccinated senior citizens and people with underlying medical conditions who are more vulnerable to having severe COVID-19. Ensuring enough coverage of the primary series while adhering to the minimum public health standards are crucial if we want to maintain low to minimal risk classification and have adequate health systems capacities especially during the holiday season.” Sec. Duque added.
For you to get your booster shot, it’s best to check your local barangay or city government social media pages. The schedule for vaccinations is updated there regularly.