PH expert panel not yet recommending COVID-19 booster shots for healthcare workers

Published July 28, 2021, 1:21 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The country’s Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) is not yet recommending to the government to grant coronavirus disease (COVID-19) booster shots to healthcare workers.

VEP chairperson Dr. Nina Gloriani maintained that the panel is still carefully studying the use of booster jabs, considering its implications.

“No recommendations yet as I keep saying. DOH (Department of Health) will make an official announcement in due time,” she told the Manila Bulletin in a Viber message.

Gloriani disclosed last week that should the government allow the use of booster shots for those vaccinated with China’s Sinovac jabs, the initial list of priority recipients may include the elderly, those with comorbidity and the healthcare workers.

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The DOH said early July the local health experts are not yet recommending the use of COVID-19-vaccine booster doses as there is still insufficient evidence that it is “going to be safe.”

In June, Gloriani urged fully vaccinated Filipinos to shelve their plans to receive booster shots in spirit of “equity,” considering the country’s limited vaccine supply, even as she affirmed that booster shots could increase one’s level of protection against COVID-19.

The DOH said Monday, July 27, that a total of 17,202,421 doses of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines have already been administered as of July 25.