DOH allots anticipated bivalent vaccines as 3rd booster for healthcare workers, seniors

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 2) — As the country awaits its first batch of bivalent COVID-19 vaccines, the Department of Health has laid out the priority sectors and guidelines for its phased rollout.

Health Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire, in a department memorandum published late-May, said the arriving Pfizer bivalent vaccines will be given as a third booster dose to healthcare workers and senior citizens. It can only be administered at least four to six months after they received their second booster dose.

The third booster doses can only be administered in healthcare sites during the initial phase, the memo stated.

It was not clear when the vaccines will be delivered. Last month, the DOH said they were expected to arrive at the end of May, but no delivery has been made so far.

DOH said it will release another memo once the administration of bivalent vaccines — seen to protect against the Omicron variant — is expanded to other sectors subject to the availability of stocks.

In late May, DOH said there will be a slight delay in the arrival of bivalent shots. The country is awaiting the arrival of 390,000 donated doses. DOH is also in talks to acquire two million doses of bivalent vaccines from the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility.