December 10, 2022

Health workers across the Cordillera have started receiving the third dose of anti-Covid-19 shots last Nov. 17, following the Food and Drug Administration’s issuance of the amended Emergency Use Authorization granted to the six companies supplying vaccines in the country. 

In Department of Health Memorandum 2021-0484 issued Nov. 16, essential frontline health workers are given the option to choose the brand of booster shot of either a homologous (same brand as primary dose) or heterologous (different brand from the primary dose) dose.

The recommended heterologous booster dose combinations are: Sinovac – AstraZeneca or Pfizer or Moderna; AstraZeneca – Pfizer or Moderna; Pfizer – AstraZeneca or Moderna; and Moderna – AstraZeneca or Pfizer.

The FDA has yet to come up with a recommendation on homologous booster shots for Sputnik V and Janssen, while the recommended heterologous booster dose for both are AstraZeneca or Prizer or Moderna.

The same memorandum states that the vaccination team should inform vaccinees who had a history of adverse reaction in their primary dose to first consult their physician for the recommended boosting strategy.

Meanwhile, the DOH clarified the general public is not yet eligible for booster shots.

In an advisory dated Nov. 18, the DOH said booster doses to healthcare workers is still risk-based and its rollout to other priority groups will be implemented on a phase-by-phase approach.

More than the administration of booster shots, the DOH reiterated that eligible individuals, especially senior citizens, those with comorbidities, and the indigent population receive their primary doses first.

As of Nov. 16, there are 745,204 individuals who got their first dose; 476,097 for the second dose; and 113,990 single dose. – Rimaliza A. Opiña