Department of Health (DOH) secretary Francisco Duque III affirmed that the vaccine booster rollout commenced on Friday, December 3. Accordingly, the booster shots will only be for individuals ranging from 8 years old and above who have received their first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Initially, the distribution of the booster shots were only administered for senior citizens, health workers and persons with comorbidities. However, the health department has decided to expand the said activity to the general population following amid the threat of Omicron variant.

The said COVID-19 variant first detected in South Africa is known as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization. 

Duque noted that the government shall use all the vaccines as possible to avoid high risk of infections, death and hospitalization. 

Furthermore, DOH Usec. Myrna Cabotahe added that the vaccine booster rollout intended for the general population can start upon the issuance of necessaryy guidelines by the National Vaccination Operation Center.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration already gave its approval to administer booster shots among the general population, allowing the DOH to imply guidelines to follow in accordance with the flow of the program. 

Fully-vaccinated individuals will have to wait for six months after their first COVID-19 vaccination before availing the booster. They would then be eligible to get the booster shots depending on its availability. It can be the same vaccine they got on their initial doses or it can also be different. 

On the other hand, individuals who got Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine will have to wait for three months before getting their booster shot.


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