News Release

Vaccine czar: Gov’t should bolster administration of COVID-19 booster dose

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over a meeting with key government officials in person and via video teleconference prior to his talk to the people at the Malacañan Palace on January 4, 2022. ROBINSON NIÑAL/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The government should ramp up the administration of COVID-19 booster shots to maintain protection on vaccinated population particularly in major cities in the country, the country’s vaccine czar has said.

“We just have to remind the key cities which have more than 70 percent to 100 percent vaccination coverage,” vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said in his report to President Duterte during the latter’s weekly public address aired on Wednesday.

“We need to revisit the realities that our people’s protection should be further expanded and enhanced through the administration of boosters.”

A December 28 data on the National Capital Region (NCR) showed that the region has 12.6 million eligible population, including those aged five and above. It has 10.4 million fully vaccinated individuals with 6.5 million due for a booster dose.

The statistics also showed that only 30 percent of new eligible population is fully protected against severe illness, hospitalization and death.

“Meaning, dahil nakikita natin na may waning effect po ang ating mga vaccine, 3.8 (million) po ang ina-assume natin na ito sa ngayon, ito po ‘yung may malakas pa na tinatawag na antibodies,” he said.

Galvez also enumerated cities and provinces with 70 to 100 percent full vaccination coverage that could strengthen the administration of boosters.

These include the NCR with its 17 cities; Central Luzon, seven cities; Calabarzon, 12 cities; Luzon, 10 cities and provinces; Visayas, 11 cities; and Mindanao, eight cities and provinces.

And to counter the rising number of COVID-19 cases, apparently triggered by the fast-spreading Omicron variant, Galvez said the government should focus on key tasks such as finding and vaccinating the unvaccinated, administering booster doses, and expanding the current inoculation drive to cover children five to 11 years old.

Vaccine demand must also be increased to efficiently manage the government’s vaccine administration and prevent unnecessary wastage.

“Kung tayo po’y sama-sama at mayroon pong disiplina at may bakuna, may laban po tayo sa pandemya,” he said. PND