(File photo)

MANILA – Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced that the interval for the administration of booster doses shall be shortened, following the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The shortened interval shall be effective on December 22.

Under this new policy, boosters may already be given to adults at least three months after the second dose of a primary two-dose vaccine, or at least two months after the primary single-dose vaccine is given.

“We are exploring all possible options to safely mitigate the effects of more transmissible variants of Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019). The approval came at an opportune time as several countries also re-strategize in light of the Omicron and other Covid-19 variants that may emerge,” Duque said.

Further, the DOH reiterates the importance of prioritizing vaccination among those who are yet to receive their primary series.

“We call on our local government units to encourage their constituents to get vaccinated, especially the unvaccinated senior citizens and people with underlying medical conditions who are more vulnerable to having severe Covid-19. Ensuring enough coverage of the primary series while adhering to the minimum public health standards are crucial if we want to maintain low to minimal risk classification and have adequate health systems capacities especially during the holiday season.” Duque added.

In a televised public briefing on Tuesday, National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) member Dr. Kezia Lorraine Rosario said the country has enough Covid-19 vaccines for the administration of booster shots.

Rosario said the FDA and vaccine experts have studied all available data in shortening the interval between the administration of second doses and booster shots.

“We have around 192 million doses of vaccines. These are enough for us to drive the vaccination of booster doses,” she said. (With reports from Ma. Teresa Montemayor/PR)