Covid-19 booster vax for minors to be helpful in 'exit from pandemic' --- Concepcion

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Jose 'Joey' Concepcion III on Tuesday, June 28, lauded the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) for its recommendation to give Covid-19 booster vaccinations to non-immunocompromised minors.

Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion (PCOO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The recommendation from HTAC will pave the way for the booster vaccination of 12 to 17-year-old non-immunocompromised children.

This was a reversal of its earlier recommendation to first require a booster coverage rate of 40 to 70 percent among the adult population as a prerequisite for the booster vaccination of the children within the age range of 12 to 17.

“It was very big of them to do so, and I commend them for it. It must not have been an easy thing to do, but with hope, we can move on with fewer obstructionist policies and all work together to exit from this pandemic,” Concepcion said.

But in its recommendation for the reversal of the booster vaccination of non-immunocompromised minors, the HTAC also asked for its role to be clearly defined within the government and in context with other similar bodies.

Concepcion had earlier criticized the HTAC for being too slow to act on Covid vaccine policies, and for contradicting itself on its decision to give boosters.

READ: Covid-19 booster rollout for non-immunocompromised kids aged 12-17 yet to be implemented—DOH

He said that their actions could have “dire consequences” on the country’s economic recovery in a post-pandemic world.

The task of vaccine rollouts should also be assigned to the Vaccine Expert Panel, while the HTAC should be delegated with non-critical tasks.

However, Concepcion has also been pushing the HTAC to approve the second booster vaccination for ages 50 to 59 years old, saying that this age group are mostly still productive members of the workforce.

Currently, only healthcare workers, the elderly and immunocompromised are allowed to receive second boosters.

The Go Negosyo founder also earlier thumbed down recommendations to make boosters mandatory because it would put the country’s economic recovery in peril.