Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco is seeking clarification on the administration of COVID-19 booster shots, saying many of his constituents were willing to get the jabs but were disqualified based on Department of Health (DOH) guidelines.
“When there are enough vaccines with near to reaching its expiry, what is the logic behind making the 2nd booster exclusive to the above priority groups on the one hand, and disallow all other sectors that are most willing to get their 2nd booster, on the other?” Tiangco stated in a letter to the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) and the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC).
He questioned why the second booster was being given only to selected groups although government data showed “low uptake” from the priority sectors.
DOH Memorandum No. 2022-0206 stated that in addition to immunocompromised individuals, only senior citizens and frontline healthcare workers may receive second booster of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
“At the very least, what is the logic of disallowing privately procured vaccines, which are near to reaching its expiry, that are being donated to the government, including LGUs, from being administered as 2nd booster to members of all other sectors who are requesting to be administered with their 2nd booster shot?” Tiangco noted.
The mayor said the second booster would enhance the protection of those exposed to COVID, including the Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1.
“Amid the threat of waning immunity and a possible surge of cases, expanding the coverage of the 2nd booster, using vaccines donated free of charge, is the most logical next step for us to reach the New Normal,” he said.
As of June 14, Navotas has administered 219,066 first doses; 217,854 second doses, 59,944 first booster, and 2,817 second booster.
The city also has a stock of 32,860 doses of Astrazeneca; 4,096, Sinovac; 1,428, Sinopharm; and 47,550, Pfizer. Jun David