69% of donated bivalent vaccines already administered - DOH

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

August 15, 2023, 6:35 pm

<div dir="auto"><em>Department of Health Undersecretary Enrique Tayag (screengrab from Zoom)</em></div>
Department of Health Undersecretary Enrique Tayag (screengrab from Zoom)
MANILA – Sixty-nine percent, or 269,000 doses, of the 390,000 donated doses of bivalent vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) have been administered to priority population groups as of Aug. 14, a health official said Tuesday.
In a media forum, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Enrique Tayag said the bivalent jabs can now be used as a first and second booster for healthcare workers, senior citizens and the immunocompromised.
"Ito ay hindi para sa general population. Marami kasing nagtatanong sa amin kung puwede na 'yun sa general population, lalo na 'yung nagtatrabaho po. Sa mga kababayan natin na hindi kasama sa three categories mean (na) hindi po namin nirerekomenda na kayo'y mabigyan ng ganitong bakuna (This is not for the general population. Many, especially those who are working, ask us if these are okay for the general population. To our fellowmen who are not included in the three categories, this means that we're not recommending that you receive this vaccine),” he said. 
Earlier, the Health Department encouraged members of the priority population to receive their bivalent booster jabs as it fast-tracks the rollout of the donated doses, which will expire in January 2024.
DOH started the administration of the bivalent jabs from the Lithuanian government to the priority population groups last June 21.
The country is still waiting for 1.5 to 2 million doses of bivalent jabs from the COVAX Facility, a worldwide initiative which aims to provide equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines. (PNA)