PH approves COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for age 18 and older

Published December 1, 2021, 1:17 PM

by Analou de Vera

Coronavirus vaccines have been prepared for distribution at a vaccination site in Manila on May 18, 2021. (Ali Vicoy/Manila Bulletin)

The administration of booster shots for individuals 18 years old and above in the country has already been approved, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed on Wednesday, Dec. 1.

FDA Director-General Rolando Enrique Domingo said that the measure was approved on Monday, Nov. 29.

“[It was] approved on Monday to include all adults 18 years old and above, based on assessment of benefit and risk, similar to US CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] recommendations for boosters,” Domingo said in an interview.

The Department of Health (DOH) will soon release the guidelines for this, said Domingo.

“The DOH should come up with the guidelines soon,” said the FDA chief, adding that the health department will also be the one to decide when the roll out of this program for the general adult population will be.

DOH Undersecretary and National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) Chairman Myrna Cabotaje also confirmed the expansion of the COVID-19 vaccination booster program.

“The EUA [emergency use authorization] has been approved, we will just finalize the guidelines. In the next couple of days, we will have the boosters for all the 18 years old and above,” she said.

To note, the Philippines started its COVID-19 vaccination booster program last Nov. 17 among the healthcare workers.

The administration of booster shots for senior citizens and select immunocompromised individuals began last Nov. 22.

Based on the data shown in the National Vaccination Dashboard, the country has already administered a total of 313,836 booster doses as of Nov. 30.