Francis N. Tolentino

DOH asked to use remaining COVID vaccines for second booster shot

December 14, 2022 PS Jun M. Sarmiento 272 views

Senator Francis N. Tolentino has asked the Department of the Health (DOH) to utilize the remaining government-procured COVID-19 vaccines for the second booster shot of the general population.

Tolentino, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee made the remarks during Wednesday’s inquiry on the supposed non-disclosure of vaccine procurement contracts by the government.

“Bakit po hindi tayo mag pa-second booster para yung nasasayang e hindi talaga masayang—kasi yung nagpabakuna na nagpa first booster, palagay ko yung iba doon gusto magka-second booster.

Iyon yung hinihingi ng private sector noon, payagan na sila mag pa second booster para hindi na mag expire yung iba, magamit,” Tolentino told DOH officer-in-charge Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“Bakit po yung ibang bansa nag se-second booster na? Tayo ay hindi nag se-second booster… naniniwala po ako, mababawasan yung masasayang kasi yung nag pa-first booster ay willing po mag pa second booster lalong lalo na yung lumalabas ngayong Simbang Gabi, lalabas ang mag festivals,” he added.

Tolentino cited a recent rationale for a second booster from the World Health Organization (WHO), in which its systematic review and meta-regression “would make the second booster dose increase the VE against all outcomes.”

“The rationale for a second booster is to restore impossibly enhance protection… I have here the WHO statement na pwede mag second booster para mabawasan po yung wastage natin Dr. Vergeire?” Tolentino stressed.

Vergeire in response to Tolentino’s query said that the DOH is still maintaining its recent stand that more evidence is needed before finally recommending the implementation of the second booster to the rest of the population.

Tolentino’s panel spearheaded a motu proprio probe in connection with the supposed non-disclosure clause embedded in the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines.

During the same hearing, Vergeire heeded to members of the Senate panel and vowed to submit the requested documents to Commission on Audit (COA) by Thursday, December 15.