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Palace: 28M Filipinos still unvaccinated vs. COVID-19

Malacañang on Tuesday said there are around 28 to 30 million Filipinos still not vaccinated against COVID-19.

At a press briefing, acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles said this number includes three million senior citizens or those aged 60 and above.

Given this and the rising number of COVID-19 cases amid the presence of more transmissible Omicron variant, Nograles called on the public to get vaccinated and avail of the booster shot after three months of their second dose for two-dose COVID-19 vaccine and two months after the one-dose Janssen vaccine.

"All vaccines work, regardless of the brand," Nograles said.

"Why do we need the vaccine and the booster when we could still get infected with it after? The protection that the vaccines provide comes not just in the form of reducing the likelihood of infection but also risk of developing severe symptoms," he added.

There are at least 52.8 million Filipinos fully vaccinated against COVID-19 so far. Of this number, around 3.5 million already got their booster shot.

In an interview on Super Radyo dzBB earlier in the day, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government may extend the giving of primary doses of COVID-19 vaccine to up to fourth dose.

Citing the government's Vaccine Expert Panel, Galvez said  people might need five doses of the vaccine — including the booster shot — to reach full immunity against COVID-19.

At present, the government is administering third doses to senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals, while booster shots are given to those who completed the primary doses. —KBK, GMA News