RUSSIAN PROTECTION. Boxes containing 400,000 doses of Sputnik V Covid-19 jabs are transferred to a cold storage truck at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on Oct. 21, 2021. The Philippines is already planning to administer booster shots to health care workers, elderly, and adults with comorbidities. (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – The National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 is eyeing a November start for the administration of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine booster shots to priority sectors.

The Department of Health (DOH) has approved the provision of booster shots to fully vaccinated health care workers (A1), who were the first to receive the jabs in March.

Senior citizens (A2) and immunocompromised adults (A3) will also be prioritized, according to NTF chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., during a pre-recorded meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte aired Monday night.

Galvez said the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) and All Experts Groups on Covid-19 Vaccines issued a “positive opinion” on the administration of booster shots.

Nagpalabas po ng kanilang positive opinion ang HTAC at ang ating All Expert Group para kapag nag-start na po tayo ng boosters sa ating mga (The HTAC and All Expert Groups issued positive opinion so we start administering boosters to our) health care workers,” Galvez said.

Galvez said the DOH has started processing the emergency use authorization amendments of different vaccine brands that will be used as booster shots.

Two million booster doses will be allotted for A1 and five million for the A2 and A3 priority groups.

"We have enough doses for them. Regardless of brand, mayroon po tayo na nakatabi (we have set aside the vaccines)," Galvez added.

Galvez said they are just waiting for the announcement of the All Expert Groups on whether it will be a heterologous (mixed) or homologous (same brand) vaccination and for the final guidance from the World Health Organization's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization.

Those who were injected with the Sinovac jab can be administered with Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna as a booster shot. (PNA)