Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion has welcomed the move of the Department of Health (DOH) to redefine the meaning of full vaccination to include one Covid-19 booster shot.
In a statement on Wednesday, Aug. 10, Concepcion said the move will lead to an increase in vaccinations.
“I am glad that the proposals put forward by the private sector over the last year are now being revisited by the government,” he said.
He, however, added that these steps must be taken without interruptions to the country’s economic recovery, and that future procurement must also consider bivalent boosters, or those that target Covid variants.
In April, Concepcion, who was then a presidential adviser, pushed for the redefinition of fully vaccinated status and later called for vaccine manufacturers to apply for a Certificate of Product Registration (CPR).
He said the latter would ensure a continuous supply of vaccines for the country before the State of Public Health Emergency ends on September 12, unless it is extended by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Health officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire recently directed the new head of the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that Covid vaccines are accessible to the public, and to find out which vaccine manufacturers plan to apply for a CPR.
Vergeire also said that they will propose to the President to redefine the fully vaccinated status to include recipients of a first booster shot.
Meanwhile, Concepcion said the private sector remains committed to the vaccination efforts and “whatever vaccine replacements are welcome.”
He said the private sector is already looking at boosters that can address new variants.
Concepcion also suggested limiting future purchases of vaccines to only two brands to make the process easier to manage, and for greater clarity on the guidelines about who are allowed and prioritized in the vaccinations. This, as P5.1-billion vaccines acquired by the private sector expired last month.