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Guidelines on bivalent COVID-19 vaccines use out by next week —Vergeire

The guidelines on the use of bivalent COVID-19 vaccines will be released by next week, Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Tuesday.

At a press briefing, Vergeire said they are finalizing the guidelines and that their last meeting with the group of experts will be held on Tuesday or Wednesday.

“Pagkatapos noon ipa-finalize na natin yung (After that, we will finalize the) guidelines with our [Executive Committee] of the DOH for final approval. Hopefully, next week the guidelines will be out so our local governments can start their preparations,” she said.

Bivalent vaccines are second-generation jabs that target the Omicron variant.

According to Vergeire, the DOH will integrate its use into the ongoing vaccination program depending on the sector and the recommendations of experts. 

As of Monday, nearly 73.9 million Filipinos had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the DOH said. Almost 21.5 million people have already received their first booster shot, while 3.9 million have had their second booster shot, the DOH added. 

In January, the DOH said over one million doses of bivalent COVID-19 vaccines donated through the COVAX facility and by other countries are expected to arrive in the Philippines in the coming months.

“While the procurement process of the bivalent vaccines is still ongoing, the DOH is in continuous coordination for the donations through the COVAX facility and other countries. We are expecting more than 1 million doses to arrive in the coming months, depending on the negotiations,” the DOH said. —Joviland Rita/ VAL, GMA Integrated News