PNA file photo

MANILA – The government and the Department of Health have not released a statement that administration of Covid-19 vaccine booster shots is mandatory, a health official said Thursday.

“Gusto po nating klaruhin ano, wala pong binigay na statement ang ating gobiyerno, ang kagawaran na ang atin pong pagbabakuna ay mandatory (We would like to clarify, the government, the department, did not give any statement that vaccination is mandatory),” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online media forum.

Vergeire was reacting to reports which said the “previous administration’s policy would only make it mandatory for work.”

“We also did not give any statements that boosters will become mandatory. Wala po iyan sa ating direksiyon, wala po iyan sa ating mga pronouncements (That is not included in our direction, that is not in our pronouncements),” she said.

Ang atin lang pong sinasabi, kailangan lang po talaga maitaas ang antas ng booster doses uptick dito po sa ating bansa, dahil nakikita po natin (What we’re saying is we need to increase the booster doses uptick in our country because we see) and even our experts are saying that our immunity for our population is already waning,” she added.

As of July 5, more than 70.8 million Filipinos are already fully vaccinated, including 9.3 million adolescents and 3.6 million children.

Over 15.2 million individuals have also received their first booster doses and more than 895,000 healthcare workers, senior citizens, immunocompromised and persons with comorbidities got their second booster shots.

“We are now working with the rest of the government agencies para maitaas natin ito, maipatupad natin ang mga stratehiya, saka instructions and guidelines na naibigay sa atin ng ating Presidente kahapon (so we can increase our booster doses coverage, implement the strategies, instructions, guidelines the President gave yesterday),” Vergeire said.

The DOH aims to vaccinate 90 percent of the A2 population or senior citizens and to administer booster shots to 50 percent of the eligible population. (PNA)