Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (File photo)

MANILA – The second booster shot of Covid-19 vaccine will be administered first to immunocompromised persons or those belonging to the A3 population, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Friday.

In a televised public briefing, Duque said he approved the Health Technology Assessment Council's (HTAC) recommendation for the administration of a second booster shot for persons with comorbidities only.

The immunocompromised persons who are eligible for the additional shot include those who received an organ transplant, cancer and HIV/AIDS patients, have primary immunodeficiency, and those who take immunosuppressants.

Earlier, the Food and Drug Administration approved a second booster or fourth dose for the elderly, immunocompromised individuals, and healthcare workers.

"'Yung para sa health workers at senior citizens next week pag-aaralan, susuriin ng ating HTAC 'yung mga datos galing (The HTAC will still study next week if healthcare workers and senior citizens must have a second booster dose based on data from the) WHO [World Health Organization], US FDA [Food and Drug Administration], CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and UK joint commission on vaccination and immunization," Duque said.

The implementing guidelines on the administration of the second booster shot will be released next week.

On Thursday, vaccine expert panel chairperson Dr. Nina Gloriani said immunocompromised persons need to present a medical certificate allowing them to receive the jab.

Gloriani noted that the vaccine brand of the second booster dose need not be the same with that of the first dose.

So far, some 12 million individuals have received their booster shots while 36 million more are eligible to receive the additional jab as of April 18. (PNA)