A health worker prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at the City Coliseum. (Photo courtesy of Puerto Princesa Covac)

City health officer Dr. Ric Panganiban said Wednesday that health workers would be re-prioritized when the government begins administering COVID-19 vaccine booster doses.

He added that they are still waiting for official guidelines from the national government before they start giving booster shots.

“Marami ngang lumalabas sa news patungkol sa booster, pero tayo sa city ay wala pang guidelines tungkol dito. Aantayin na lang natin ang guidelines bago tayo mag-announce,” Panganiban said in a phone interview.

“For sure, priority pa rin ang mga health workers natin, at lahat ng mga ibang mga nauna doon sa first dose natin,” he added.

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In the first round of Puerto Princesa’s vaccination rollout, health workers were first to be given their shots, followed by senior citizens and adults with comorbidities. Other groups that followed are “economic frontliners” or workers who are at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, adults with no comorbidities, and minors aged 12-17 with comorbidities. The latest group to be included in the inoculation are minors aged 12-17 without comorbidities.

As of the Puerto Princesa City Covac’s data on November 16, 75,280 out of 210,000 individuals have already been fully inoculated, or roughly 36% of the city’s target population.

Only three vaccine brands – Moderna, Pfizer, and Sinovac – have been given approval by the Department of Health (DOH) to be used as a booster regardless of the brand they were first injected with. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also already issued an emergency use authorization for these brands.

However, the National Vaccine Operations Center (NVOC) has yet to release the guidelines which ought to specify the elapsed time between an individual’s first set of vaccinations and the time they can receive the booster.

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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.