Govt eyes giving boosters to A4, A5 priority groups on Dec 10

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 29) — Government and economic frontliners, as well as indigent Filipinos who have completed their COVID-19 shots within the last six months may get their booster dose as early as December 10, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Monday.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' The Source, Galvez said he is about to present the current target to President Rodrigo Duterte, in a bid to utilize country's stockpike of over 61 million doses.

"Ang aming timing po is Dec. 10 na i-open na natin ang ating tinatawag na A4, A5 vaccinaion kasi nakita natin (Our timing is Dec. 10 to expand the vaccination drive for A4, A5 groups because we see that) we have more than enough vaccines already," Galvez said.

"We have 61 million in our warehouses and 38 million were already deployed in different warehouses (of) provinces, regions and also cities," he added.

Galvez also said in a virtual presser on Sunday that the government wants to start administering booster doses for the A4 group by Dec. 10, especially for those who got their second shot beyond six months.

He added that those in the private sector may proceed with their booster inoculation during that time to help the government get closer to its inoculation target.

"Nakita natin (We saw that) we cannot discount the big responsibility of the private sector. Even the private sector has given a lot of support in the (three-day vaccination drive)," Galvez said.

Currently, only healthcare workers, senior citizens, and people with weakened immune systems (immunocompromised) — classified as priority groups A1 to A3 — are allowed to get boosters.

The first round of the national vaccination program runs from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1. Galvez said the government targets to administer around nine million doses each, with a daily target of three million shots.

The second wave of the national immunization drive will be held on Dec. 15 to 17.