Puerto Princesa International Airport departure area. (Photo from CAAP AREA IV Puerto Princesa International Airport FB page)

The National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) urged anew fully vaccinated individuals to get booster shots or additional doses against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) as the Philippines prepares to open its borders further to attract more tourists into the country.

“While we will be opening up our borders, we will have enough room for us to monitor our borders, entry points and have a better analysis of our data,” said NVOC co-lead, Dr. Krezia Lorraine Rosario, at the virtual Laging Handa public briefing on Saturday.

She noted that opening the country’s borders is crucial for the recovery of the Philippine economy.

“I think that’s where we are right now and one thing we should consider is our efforts in the vaccination. That’s why we have emphasized that especially right now, while we are opening up our economy, we hope to expand,” she added.

Rosario said everything should be accompanied with the provision of additional protection to all Filipinos against Covid-19 like encouraging more fully vaccinated individuals to avail of booster shots.

She explained that protection from the primary series of the Covid-19 vaccines wanes over time, thus the need to preserve population protection against the dreaded virus through booster shots.

“That’s why we are really encouraging our economic workforce to get boosters. That’s one way to protect ourselves even though we are opening up our economy and also opening up our borders,” Rosario added.

In February, the government initially welcomed tourists from the United States, Thailand, Malaysia, Canada, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and Australia after a nearly two-year closure due to pandemic restrictions. (PNA)