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General population booster shots OK’d

In previous guidelines, healthcare workers, senior citizens, and individuals with comorbidities were given the opportunity to choose whether to take homologous or heterologous booster doses

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Photo Courtesy : AFP

The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday has approved the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the administration of Covid-19 booster shots among 18 years old and above.

In a text message to Daily Tribune, FDA director-general Erick Domingo confirmed that the Covid-19 booster shots for the general adult population were approved on Monday.

“Booster (shots) approved for people aged 18 and above. The Department of Health (DoH) will issue guidelines and implementation,” Domingo said.

He noted that the same recommendation was given for the combination of vaccines for those who will take additional doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

In previous guidelines, healthcare workers, senior citizens, and individuals with comorbidities were given the opportunity to choose whether to take homologous or heterologous booster doses.

A homologous booster dose means that the recipient will receive the same vaccine brand used in their primary series, while a heterologous booster dose means that different vaccine brands will be used on the recipient.

The FDA chief added that it is up to the DoH to determine the date of implementation of the administration of booster shots for the general population.

For its part, the DoH said it is now crafting the operational guidelines for the administration of booster shots to the general population.

“The EUA has been approved, we will just finalize the guidelines, in the next couple of days, we will have the boosters for all 18 years old and above,” DoH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said.

Despite the expansion of eligible sectors for booster shots, she noted that the vaccination of those who have not received any dose of a Covid-19 vaccine should still be prioritized.

Cabotaje said around 60,000 booster shots have been given since Monday, the start of the three-day nationwide simultaneous vaccination drive.

Previously, only senior citizens, persons with comorbidities and healthcare workers were allowed to get booster doses.

Based on the latest data shown in the National Vaccination Dashboard, the country has already administered a total of 313,836 booster doses.

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