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MANILA, Philippines — The national government is planning to expand the coverage of eligible population for COVID-19 booster shots to essential workers and indigents by Dec. 10, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. announced on Monday.

Galvez said the government is planning to make available COVID-19 booster shots to other sectors considering the ample supply of vaccines as well as the uncertainties of a new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

“With the uncertainties on Omicron, it is better na we should not break the chain of protection. We have to further strengthen ‘yung defense ng vaccinated by giving boosters,” he said in an interview on CNN Philippines.

“Ang aming timing is December 10 na io-open na natin ‘yung A4 at A5 vaccination [of boosters], he added.

(We plan to open up the booster inoculation to A4, A5 priority groups by December 10.)

The A4 priority group covers economic frontline workers while A5 refers to the indigent population.

So far, the Philippines is giving out booster shots to health workers, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities. 

Galvez said only over 174,000 individuals have so far received COVID-19 booster doses.

The Philippines has “more than enough” supply of vaccines for booster shots, with over 61 million available, Galvez said.

“We want to make use of these vaccines in the soonest possible time,” he said.


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