Elderly and persons with comorbidities are set to receive their COVID-19 booster shots next week, according to city health officer Dr. Ric Panganiban in an interview on Thursday.

He added that the City Health Office (CHO) started giving boosters with healthcare workers two weeks ago, starting with those in the private sector and eventually to government healthcare workers.

Booster vaccinations will most likely be held outside the City Coliseum, which is currently Puerto Princesa’s mega vaccination site for all types of recipients.

“Nag-start na kami two weeks. Inuna ko muna ‘yong mga ospital, nagtanong ako kung ilan ang mga kailangan nila, so nabigyan na sila. Tapos sa mga taga-IMT (Incident Management Team) nabigyan na rin,” he said in a phone interview.

“Mag-iiskedyul na kami next week. Baka sa iba[ng venue],” he added.

Under the Department of Health’s (DOH) guidelines, the recommended interval between the first set of anti-COVID vaccines is six months for major vaccine brands. For Janssen recipients, the recommended interval is three months. Hence, healthcare workers, seniors, and persons with comorbidities are set to be first in line for boosters.

Mass vaccinations to continue beyond National Vaccination Day

When asked about the CHO’s response to the national government’s extension to National Vaccination Day, set to end on Friday, Panganiban said that they are committed to their mass vaccination rollout efforts.

“Tuloy-tuloy pa rin tayo, kahit wala pa ang National Vaccination Day. Of course, ang mga partners namin, mga doctor sa mga private hospitals, bumalik na sila after noong Wednesday kasi may mga trabaho pa sila sa mga hospitals nila. Pero kami, sa CHO, tuloy-tuloy pa rin,” Panganiban said.

“Medyo nagpahinga lang muna ang iba, napagod kasi talaga. Pero tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang pagbabakuna,” he added.

The Puerto Princesa Covac data showed that a total of 9112 individuals received their first doses on Monday and 6,793 on Tuesday. Mass vaccinations were also conducted outside the City Coliseum to accommodate as many people as possible. For Monday, vaccinations were also held in malls and in the Palawan National School. On Tuesday and Wednesday, vaccinations were done in the northern and southern rural barangays.

Covac announcements also stated that on Friday, only second dose recipients will be prioritized because many are scheduled to receive their second doses on that day.

In an earlier interview, Puerto Princesa City was initially given a quota of 13,000 vaccination a day for three days. Panganiban, however, stated that they committed to vaccinating as many people as possible instead.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.