The recommendation of the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) for the rollout of the second booster administration will be out soon, Vaccine Expert Panel chairperson Dr. Nina Gloriani said on Thursday.
At the Laging Handa public briefing, Gloriani said the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) is ready to fully implement the administration of second booster shots to eligible populations as soon as the HTAC officially issues its recommendation.
Eligible for a second booster dose are those belonging to the vulnerable population such as healthcare workers, the elderly, and persons with comorbidity.
Those who wish to avail of the second booster should bring their vaccine card, indicating that they have completed the two Covid-19 primary series and first booster shot as well as their identification card, when going to the inoculation sites.
Immunocompromised individuals are required to bring their medical certificates for further health assessment.
“Hindi kailangang pareho [ang brand ng vaccine] dun sa first dose so kung ano ang available doon sa vaccination sites, iyon ang ating ibibigay. Actually, we prefer yung heterologous sana na booster kasi alam natin na ang data ‘dun mas maganda ang proteksyon na maibibigay ng heterologous (It’s not required that you will get a similar vaccine brand from your first dose so we will give whatever is available in the vaccination sites. Actually, we prefer a heterologous booster dose because we know the data showed it could give better protection),” Gloriani said.
Gloriani also recommends a heterologous (mixed) second booster dose for those who received single-shot Janssen vaccines.
Health authorities will issue final guidelines on second booster administration following the HTAC recommendation.
Meanwhile, Gloriani said the Vaccine Expert Panel already suggested the provision of first booster shots for pediatric 12 to 17 age group and still waiting for the approval of the HTAC as there’s still an ongoing study on the matter. (PNA)