Initial rollout of 2nd booster dose set on Apr. 25 only for immunocompromised

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 22) — The government will start administering second COVID-19 booster shots nationwide on April 25, but only to immunocompromised adults, the Department of Health said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said he only approved giving the second booster shots to patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, and immunodeficiency, those who underwent organ transplant, and undergoing chronic dialysis, and the like for now.

"Ito ay nililimitahan muna natin para doon sa mga indibidwal na immunocompromised... Lalabas ito lahat sa ating implementing guidelines na binubuo na ngayon para next week, ma-rollout na natin ito," he said in the government-led Laging Handa briefing.

[Translation: We are limiting it to immunocompromised individuals for now. We are finalizing the implementing guidelines so we can roll it out next week.]

Duque also clarified that senior citizens and healthcare workers are not yet included in the initial rollout of the second booster dose.He said the Health Technology Assessment Council will review the guidelines to eventually administer second booster shots to these vulnerable sectors next week.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said immunocompromised adults can receive their second booster as early as three months after their first booster to further increase the protection of the vulnerable sector against COVID-19.

AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinopharm, and Sinovac vaccines can be used for the second booster shot.