MANILA – The latest shipment of the US-donated Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to the Philippines arrived Monday night, further boosting the country’s supply as it readies booster shots for the healthcare workers.
The plane carrying a total of 301,860 doses, coursed through the COVAX Facility, arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 around 10:10 p.m.
In an interview, Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor, National Task Force Against Covid-19 strategic communications head on current operations, thanked the US government for the donation.
He said these vaccines would be intended for healthcare workers, senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, and the indigent population.
Mayor said the government is preparing for the administration of booster shots but it is still waiting for approval and guidelines from the World Health Organization.
“‘Yung sa booster shot or sa third shot hinihintay pa natin ‘yung again the experts panel ano saka ‘yung guidelines ng WHO. ‘Yun na lang naman ang inaantay ng DOH at saka vaccine cluster before we implement yung booster shot (We are just waiting for the approval of the expert panel and the guidelines from the WHO and DOH and the vaccine cluster before implementing the use of a booster shot),” he added.
Meantime, fully vaccinated health care workers may avail of booster shots starting November 17.
In an advisory Monday night, the Department of Health said it recommends using Moderna, Pfizer, and Sinovac shots as booster doses regardless of the brand used in the primary series.
The department will issue the booster shot guidelines on November 16.
While the use of a third dose has yet to be approved for the general population pending results of studies, health experts said all the vaccines continue to provide strong protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death from Covid-19.
In the US, its Food and Drug Administration has authorized booster shots for adults at high risk of severe Covid-19 because of underlying medical conditions and for health care workers. (PNA)