The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has commended the government for starting the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) booster drive for the immunocompromised individuals and senior citizens with choice of their vaccine brand for additional dose.
Last Monday, Nov. 22, the government began administering COVID-19 booster shots to senior citizens to further fortify their immune system amidst the pandemic.
The CHR, through Spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia, said the “third or additional doses are crucial during this time particularly for high-risk individuals as more variations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus emerge.”
It noted that elderly people, immunocompromised individuals, and health care workers are expected to have the highest level of hospitalization and deaths caused by COVID-19.
“The action of DOH (Department of Health) to place these groups for priority vaccination is a positive step in ensuring that they have ample protection against COVID-19,” De Guia said.
At the same time, the CHR lauded the Food and Drug Administration’s issuance of emergency use authorization for the use of monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 infections.
Monoclonal antibody treatments, the CHR said, have shown in some research to be 70 percent effective in reducing the risk of hospitalization and death of patients infected with COVID-19.
“We hope that that the Health Technology Assessment Council would release soon its own findings and recommendations on the use of the said medicine,” De Guia stressed as she expressed hopes that the findings and recommendations would pave the way for government action in its immediate procurement.
Meanwhile, the CHR said that while COVID-19 cases in the country are diminishing, the public should always practice minimum health and safety protocols to ensure the safety of everyone.
It cautioned the public that recent statistics from the DOH show that 93.49 percent of COVID-19 deaths come from the group of unvaccinated individuals.
Thus, it urged the public to get inoculated so they could be protected from the dreaded disease which has already claimed many lives.