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Provincial gov’t awaiting booster shots ‘green light’

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The provincial government of Negros Occidental is now waiting a “green light” from the Department of Health to administer COVID-19 booster shot for its medical health personnel, after Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has approved the recommendation of the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) on the provision of vaccine booster shots.

As long as the province is given a green light to give booster shots for its frontliners, of course, we will follow, stressed yesterday by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson.

The Philippines’ HTAC, in an issuance dated October 13, has recommended administering a COVID-19 booster dose to health workers in the fourth quarter of 2021, while other priority groups may become eligible in 2022.

But Lacson it should be also supported by more vaccines, noting that the National Capital Region has been prioritized in the vaccine allocations.

The HTAC, which was created by the Universal Health Care Law, is a group of experts tasked with the unique role of reviewing any health technology, including vaccines and medicines, to be used for public health programs.

Health workers are the first group to be cleared for booster doses because they were the first group to become eligible for COVID-19 vaccines when the Philippines started its immunization campaign in March 2021, or seven months ago, DOH said.

As recommended by HTAC, booster vaccination among health workers should start in the fourth quarter of this year.

As to the vaccination of minors in the province, Lacson said they are also waiting a go signal from DOH.*

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