Gov't urged to maximize, fast-track Covid-19 vaccinations in PH

Published May 22, 2022, 7:01 PM

by Charie Mae F. Abarca

Health reform advocate and former special adviser of the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 Dr. Anthony “Tony” Leachon, on Sunday, May 22, urged the national government to “maximize” and speed up the country’s Covid-19 vaccinations.

(Manila Bulletin File Photo)

In an interview over DZRH, Leachon said that boosting Covid-19 vaccinations, especially the third dose, will serve several purposes amid the country’s fight against the disease.

“Ang aking suggestion ay dapat i-maximize natin ‘yung ating first booster. Ang baba ng ating first booster o third dose [nasa] 13 million pa lang, samantalang ang [mga naka-receive na ng primary vaccines] ay 66 million. This will serve two purposes: we will avert [possible] surges and we will [also] prevent [vaccine] wastage (My suggestion is that we should maximize our first booster. Our first booster or third dose is only 13 million, while those who have already received primary vaccines are 66 million. This will serve two purposes: we will avert possible surges and we will also prevent vaccine wastage),” said Leachon.

Meanwhile, Leachon disclosed that in a forum with fellow health experts, they have unanimously decided to recommend lowering the age requirement for those who are eligible to get the second booster or the fourth vaccine shot.

This, according to the expert, should be aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines. CDC recently strengthened its recommendation that those 50 and older should receive a second booster dose at least four months after their first booster jab.

“Dapat ay gayahin natin ito sa tatlong kadahilanan: number one ay dadami ang mababakunahan nating mga nagtatrabaho na kailangan natin sa ating economic sector, number two ang private sector ay may mataas na vaccine acceptance rate, pangatlo ay hindi tayo magkakaroon ng tinatawag na lockdown kasi protected ang ating economic workforce pati na ang ating health workers (We should imitate this for three reasons: number one we will increase the number of vaccinated workers that we need in our economic sector, number two is that the private sector has a high vaccine acceptance rate, and the third is that we will not have the so-called lockdown because our economic workforce and health workers are already protected),” Leachon enumerated.