BOOSTER SHOT. An employee of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao gets his booster shot inside the regional government center in Cotabato City on Thursday (Aug. 18, 2022), as the Ministry of Health (MOH-BARMM) begins the “PinasLakas” booster campaign against Covid-19 in the region. At least 1.6 million individuals out of the MOH-BARMM’s eligible target of 3.4 million are fully vaccinated in the area. (Photo courtesy of MOH-BARMM)

COTABATO CITY – The Ministry of Health in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) kicked off Thursday its coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) booster shots campaign here, with regional government servants as the first recipients.

Dr. Muhammad Candao, the MOH health regulation division medical specialist, said regional employees may avail of the booster shots until Aug. 26 by visiting their office inside the BARMM compound here.

“Our campaign against Covid-19 infections is ongoing. Even if we have the first and second doses of vaccines, we still need the booster shots,” Candao said of their campaign in support of the “PinasLakas” drive of the Department of Health (DOH).

Sharing his personal experience with reporters, Candao said booster shots are adequate layers of protection against the virus.

“Having two boosters shots, I did not experience any symptoms despite my exposures to virus carriers in the hospital in the past,” he said.

With the PinasLakas launch, Candao said MOH-BARMM would continue to administer vaccines to anyone whether they are BARMM employees or not.

“We will entertain anybody, we may have a target population but when anyone comes forward and submit herself or himself for booster shots, we are open. This is not exclusive, we want more people getting the shots,” he said.

As of Aug. 15, MOH has fully vaccinated 1,622,158 individuals, or 53.94 percent of its 3.4 million target population.
Active cases in the region also continue to decline, with 46 cases recorded in Cotabato City, 24 in Maguindanao, 13 in Lanao del Sur and Marawi City, 10 in Tawi-Tawi, 4 in Basilan and Lamitan City, and none in Sulu. (PNA)