The guidelines for the rollout of booster jabs against COVID-19 for minors aged 12 to 17 is expected to be released next week, an official of the Department of Health said Saturday.
In an interview on Dobol B TV, Health Undersecretary and National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) chairperson Myrna Cabotaje said the set of guidelines the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) has recommended has been submitted to the office of the Health secretary for approval.
“We hope it will be out by Monday para maka-start na tayo mga Tuesday siguro kung ready na ‘yung mga ibang kailangan at saka ang ating implementers (so we can start by Tuesday if all the requirements are ready as well as our implementers),” Cabotaje said.
She clarified that the rollout of booster vaccinations for adolescents may start with the immunocompromised, then the rest of the age group could start a few days after.
As for the vaccination of 6-month-olds and up, the HTAC is still studying if this is appropriate for the country, she added.
But for the second booster shot or fourth those for the adult population, there is still not enough evidence if it is needed by the general population, Cabotaje pointed out.
Moreover, she said the World Health Organization’s recommendation is a second booster only for the immunocompromised, health workers, and senior citizens.
"Once the Department of Health, through the Secretary of Health, approves the recommendations of the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC), the DOH will now draft the guidelines on how we are going to implement these booster doses for 12 to 17 years old," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said at the Laging Handa briefing on Saturday.
"Ito po ang ating inaantay na key factor. Kung saka-sakaling mapirmahan na, posible na maaari na tayong mag-umpisa by next week once guidelines are out," she added.
(This is the key factor we are waiting for. If the Health Secretary signed it, it is possible that we could start next week once the guidelines are out.) —with Jamil Santos/LBG/VBL, GMA News