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MANILA, Oct 26 (Mabuhay) — The inoculation of senior citizens and healthcare workers with third doses and booster shots may spill over into 2022, the Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday.

When asked if all individuals in the said groups will be inoculated as soon as the DOH receives the emergency use authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines to be used for such, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said this was the recommendation of the World Health Organization.

“Although tinitignan natin, siyempre operationally, kailangan natin tignan kung paano natin maisasagawa with this short time period, no, hanggang December,” Vergeire said.

“Baka mag-spill over din tayo hanggang sa isang taon (It may spill over into the next year),” she added.

The DOH has given the go signal for booster and additional shots of COVID-19 vaccines for healthcare workers and the elderly within the year, and eligible priority groups by 2022.

On Monday, Vergeire said the agency has submitted its letter of intent for the application of the EUA to the Food and Drug Administration and that it is working on completing the required documents.

Vergeire said the EUA of the vaccines must be amended as it specifically states the number of doses that must be administered.

“Pero ‘yung EUA po kasi nila, ngayon, currently, specific po ‘yun na dalawang doses lang ang ibibigay, and para sa Janssen na vaccine, isang dose lang. Kaya kailangan po natin ma-amend,” she said.

Vergeire previously said they will discuss on Tuesday what vaccines would be used.

The DOH official also clarified earlier that booster shots are given when immunity is starting to wane off after several months since receiving the vaccine.

On the other hand, additional doses, or the third doses, are given to individuals who cannot mount the appropriate immunity against the sickness. (MNS)

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