Gov't urged to allow villages to do booster vax

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

December 23, 2021, 5:52 pm

<p><em>(PNA photo)</em></p>

(PNA photo)

MANILA – A lawmaker on Thursday urged the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to allow private subdivisions or villages to do their own booster vaccination for their residents.

Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo said the authorities should expect crowding in many vaccination sites with the government's decision to shorten the time for giving the booster dose from six months to three months.

Castelo said many village residents are afraid to go to crowded centers to get vaccinated for fear of catching the virus.

She also noted that village associations, particularly in the city’s second district that she represents, are willing to do booster vaccination for their constituents.

Castelo noted that they would not lack volunteer medical doctors, nurses, and other health professionals from their residents.

“We should welcome the desire of many people to receive additional protection from Covid-19 and its new variant Omicron. Allowing homeowners’ associations that administered the basic shots to give the booster dose will ease crowding in inoculation centers,” she said.

She pointed out that expanding the rollout of boosters would speed up the attainment of herd immunity against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The new policy states that booster doses may already be given to adults at least three months after receiving their second dose, and at least two months after the primary single-dose vaccine is given.

AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinovac, and Sputnik are two-dose vaccines while Janssen is the sole single-dose vaccine approved for use in the country.

National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. cited the importance of "massively" administering booster doses as the Omicron variant has officially entered the country.

"The only thing that we can save up is iyong mag-boostering po tayo ng massively, particularly po iyong mga (we should massively administer booster shots, particularly to those who received their vaccination) three months and above," Galvez said.

He said the NTF recommends massive booster vaccination within the National Capital Region.

"Yung mga centers na nabakunahan ng mga una ng March, April, May, June, July, kailangan na po na magpa-booster na po sila (Those who were initially vaccinated in March, April, May, June, and July, they have to get booster doses)," Galvez said, noting there could be a “breakthrough” or a possible surge in Covid-19 cases due to new variants. (PNA)