/ 29 June 2022

HEALTH Secretary Francisco Duque III on Tuesday said that the Health Technology Assessment Council scrapped the required 40% booster coverage for senior citizens to give way for the administration of booster shots to healthy adolescents aged 12 to 17.

“The 40% coverage for senior citizens as a requirement has been retracted already by HTAC because the HTAC was late to understand, after some meetings with the NVOC chair Usec. Myrna Cabotaje, that operationally it is very difficult to make that requirement,” Duque said.

Earlier, Health Undersecretary Mryna Cabotaje said that the HTAC made a condition that healthy minors will only be given jabs once the booster coverage for senior citizens reaches 40%.

Currently, only minors with comorbidities are given booster shots against Covid19.

In a statement, the DOH said the rollout of booster doses for healthy adolescents will start soon.

“The DOH will start implementation of the rollout once the NVOC has finalized the revised implementing guidelines of the administration of booster doses for adolescents 12-17 age group. We will keep the public posted once finalized,”  it said.

Meanwhile, the Philippines received an additional 299,520 doses of Pfizer vaccines allotted for 12 years old and above, the National Task Force Against Covid19 said.

The NTF said the vaccine doses, which was donated by the US government through COVAX, was the last batch of shipment under the Duterte administration.

Data from the Department of Health showed that about 9,487,745 minors have been fully vaccinated against Covid 19 while some 3,217,367 children aged 5 to 11 old have also been immunized.