The second booster shot or a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is not yet available for the general population according to the Department of Health (DOH).
In a statement on Monday (June 13), the DOH reminded that only frontline healthcare workers, senior citizens, and immunocompromised adults are qualified to take the second booster shot of the vaccine.
The department is reportedly coordinating with its Regional Vaccination Operation Centers (RVOCs) to strictly comply and focus efforts on administering the first booster shot (3rd dose) to improve coverage before giving second boosters.
“In light of this, the DOH continues to encourage everyone eligible to get their primary doses and boosters done as vaccines are proven to be safe and effective against severe and critical symptoms caused by COVID-19,” the statement read.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario vergeire on Saturday (June 11) also said that they have been reminding local governments to not give the general population a 4th dose of the vaccine yet as additional evidence is needed in order to include the general population.
“Kami ay paulit-ulit na nagpapaalala sa local governments pati na rin sa ating mga kababayan. Ito pong fourth dose o yung second booster shot for the general population hindi pa po tayo nakakakumpleto ng ebidensya,” Vergeire said.
(We have repeatedly reminded local governments and our citizens. We have yet to complete the evidence of giving a fourth dose or the second booster shot for the general population.)
She added that the first booster shot still gives enough protection for the general population.
The announcement comes amid an increase in COVID-19 cases, which might put Alert Level 2 for Metro Manila in picture.
Earlier, the DOH announced that they have detected local transmission of Omicron subvariants BA.2.12.1. and the BA.5., which health experts believe are both highly transmissible and can even evade vaccine protection.
According to the National COVID-19 vaccination dashboard by the DOH, 70,075,780 individuals have already been fully-vaccinated while people with booster shots have only reached 13,434,474 as of June 14.
Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom. Follow her twitter @polarubyo for regular news and cat postings.
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