DOH OKs booster dose for rest of 12-17 years old

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 25) — After initially administering COVID-19 booster doses for immunocompromised children 12 to17 years old, the rest of the age bracket can now get boosted as well, the Department of Health (DOH) announced on Saturday.

Nagbigay na rin po ng ‘oo’ na pwede nang ipatupad din ‘yung rest of the population of 12-17 (years old)," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said at the Laging Handa briefing.

"So hopefully, in the coming weeks, makikita natin ang slow na pagtaas nitong ating 12-17 booster doses dahil kailangan din po ng ating mga kabataan itong booster doses na ito,” she also said.

[Translation: There’s already a ‘yes’ to give COVID-19 booster for the rest of the population of 12-17 years old. So hopefully, in the coming weeks, we will see a slow increase on 12-17 booster doses because our minors also need these.]

On Tuesday, Vergeire announced that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III approved the recommendation of the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) to give Pfizer booster vaccines to adolescents but the guidelines released are only for those with immunocompromised conditions.

The following day, Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said that boosters for the rest of the age group will commence later in the week, saying it was pushed back a few days from the booster program for the immunocompromised minors to avoid confusion.

The HTAC’s recommendation for the immunocompromised and those who are not differs only on the interval of the second dose and the booster shot, Cabotaje explained.

Meanwhile, Vergeire said the country has enough supply of Pfizer vaccines for the age group’s booster shots.

Ito pong ating supply ng Pfizer vaccines, we have enough supply para po dito sa booster doses kasi ito pong booster ng 12-17 (age group) is just the same with the adult dose,” she said.

[Translation: We have enough supply of Pfizer vaccines for the booster doses because the 12-17 age group and adults use the same dose.]

Only the 5-11 age bracket uses a reformulated vaccine, she further noted.