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Gov't rollouts bivalent booster inoculation across the country

QUEZON CITY (PIA) -- President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. together with the Department of Health (DOH) initially launched the bivalent booster vaccination program at the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) in Quezon City. This is for added protection of Filipino citizens against the continuing threat of COVID-19.

President Marcos urges Filipinos to keep their COVID-19 vaccines updated and help prevent the resurgence of the virus.

"To every Filipino, continue doing your part, and get updated on your COVID-19 vaccination to prevent the resurgence. I, thus, appeal to everyone, especially those who have yet to receive the primary series of vaccinations to get vaccinated against COVID-19," the Chief Executive said.

During the event, DOH Secretary Teodoro ‘Ted’ Herbosa received his third booster dose during the event.

DOH Secretary Teodoro ‘Ted’ Herbosa

According to the Department of Health Memorandum No. 2023-0178, a phased approach shall be implemented in inoculation wherein initially shall be given as a 3rd booster dose for individuals aged 18 years old and above belonging to priority groups A1 (healthcare workers), and A2 (senior citizens) at least four (4) to six (6) months after completion of a second booster dose.

 In Tuguegarao City, the Cagayan Valley Medical Center (CVMC) kicked off last week the rollout of the bivalent booster among its employees which is the first in the Cagayan Valley Region.

CVMC Medical Chief Dr. Glenn Mathew Baggao, Cagayan Valley Center for Health Development (CVCHD) Regional Director Amelita Pangilinan, and CVMC Chief Medical Professional Staff Dr. Cherry Lou Antonio were among the first recipients of the vaccine in the region to show to the public that the Bivalent Booster is safe.

CVMC Medical Chief Dr. Glenn Mathew Baggao
CVMC Chief Medical Professional Staff Dr. Cherry Lou Antonio

Moreover, the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center with the Department of Health-Cordillera on June 26 also led the ceremonial launching and roll out of the COVID-19 bivalent vaccine for healthcare workers and senior citizens at the BGHMC Garden.

More than 600 health workers including BGHMC personnel and staff are expected to be vaccinated with the Bivalent Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the BGHMC.

Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center doctors and staff with the Department of Health-Cordillera officials

The Philippines received the first batch of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pfizer bivalent vaccines with 390,000 doses donated by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.

Bivalent vaccines can provide protection against two virus strains: the original COVID-19 strain and Omicron subvariants.  The original vaccine shot is called the monovalent because it targeted only one strain.

According to the Pfizer updated clinical trial data in November 2022, it showed that levels of neutralizing antibodies in the bivalent booster were 4-fold higher against Omicron BA.4/BA.5 sublineages in people 55 and older than in people of similar ages who got a monovalent booster, which targeted only the original virus. (Angely L. Mercado/Mark Djeron C. Tumabao/PIA Region 2;  Redjie Melvic Cawis - PIA CAR; and Kate Shiene A. Austria – PIA CPSD )

About the Author

Kate Shiene Austria

Information Officer III

Information Officer III under the Creative and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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