PH eyes procurement of vaccines targeting Omicron

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 17) — President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. on Wednesday said the government is considering the procurement of vaccines targeting the Omicron variant and its subvariants.

"It is very important and it is very clear the benefits of having a booster shot now to combat the problem with the new [sub]variants of Omicron," Marcos said during the "PinasLakas" vaccine campaign event in the City of Manila--where he got his second booster dose.

"I was just told by Usec. [Maria Rosario] Vergeire mukha namang mayroon nang ilalabas na vaccine para dito sa mga bagong [sub]variants ng Omicron. Kaya pag-aaralan natin and if it is going to be helpful, ay gagawin natin ang lahat para madala dito sa Pilipinas, para maibigay natin sa lahat ng kailangan na magkaroon ng booster shot," the President added.

[Translation: I was just told by Usec. Vergeire that vaccines targeting these new Omicron subvariants will be available soon. So we will look into it and if it is going to be helpful, we will do our best to bring them here in the Philippines and give them to those who need their booster shots.]

Omicron is said to be more transmissible than the highly contagious Delta variant, according to health authorities.

The Department of Health already detected several cases of its subvariants: BA.5, BA.4, BA.12.1, and BA.2.75.

The United Kingdom is the first country to approve Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine that targets Omicron.

More than 72 million Filipinos are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Aug. 16.

The government launched the "PinasLakas" vaccine campaign to inoculate more senior citizens and provide boosters to the target population in the first 100 days of the Marcos administration.