June 20, 2024

Baguio City began administering the second booster shots last May 18, following the rollout in the National Capital Region last April 24.

Other provinces in the Cordillera will begin to administer the second booster shots as soon as guidelines are cascaded and more supplies arrive.

In the Department of Health’s interim operational guidelines on the administration of second booster doses, only immunocompromised populations aged 18 years old and above regardless of priority group classification are eligible for a second booster shot.

Immunocompromised individuals are those in immunodeficiency state (those whose immune systems have been compromised or is entirely absent), with HIV, with active cancer, transplant recipients, undergoing steroid treatment, bedridden patients, and other conditions of immunodeficiency as certified by a physician.

Vaccines approved for use for the second booster dose are Tozinameram or Comirnaty both manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, Spikevax (Moderna), Coronavac (Sinovac), Sinopharm, and Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca).

The second booster shot shall be administered three months after the first booster shot.

Similar to the protocols in the first booster shot, eligible individuals will be given the option to choose whether the second booster is homologous (same brand as the first booster) or heterologous (another brand) depending on the availability of vaccine brands at the vaccination site.

House-to-house vaccination will also be administered on those who cannot go to vaccination sites. HIV treatment hubs have also been permitted to give the shots to their patients.

The DOH said administration of the “4th dose” or second booster shot for the immunocompromised population is based on evidence that immunocompromised individuals may mount less of a response to Covid-19 vaccination as compared to other individuals.

On April 13, the Philippine Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorization for second booster shots against Covid-19. – Rimaliza A. Opiña