Mike Defensor

Solon backs 4th COVID-19 jab for seniors, sick

March 11, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 181 views

QUEZON mayoral candidate and AnaKalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor on Friday supported the recommendation of the government’s vaccine expert panel to give a 4th coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) shot to elderly Filipinos and those with comorbidity or suffering from ailments.

Defensor said he is opposed to the plan of the Department of Health (DOH), announced by Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, 2 days ago, to donate part of the country’s vaccine supply to other nations.

“The virus is still with us. Why should we give our supply away when we need it? Let’s give it to those who want it, as a booster or even as an additional booster or fourth Covid-19 shot, with senior citizens and those with co-morbidity as our priority,” Defensor said.

He noted that the DOH panel of vaccine experts has recommended the giving of a 4th dose to the elderly and those with weak immune systems due to health problems.

Defensor urged the DOH and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on pandemic response to approve the recommendation.

He said many countries are giving the 4th (vaccine) shot to boost the protection of their vulnerable citizens against COVID-19.

Citing DOH data, he said of the 64 million Filipinos fully vaccinated or those who have received their primary two-dose course, only 10.7 million have taken a third shot or booster.

“This means that more than 53 million of those fully vaccinated are yet to get their booster dose. Let us encourage them to take it. Let us also allow those who had their protection already boosted to have another booster if they want to,” he said.

He added that according to official data, more than 232 million doses of various vaccines have already been delivered to the country.

“Clearly, we have enough supply even for an additional booster to the elderly and those with comorbidity or immunocompromised,” Defensor stressed.

At the same time, the lawmaker-health advocate urged Filipinos to still observe health protocols despite the decrease in Covid-19 cases and the easting of restrictions.

“The pandemic is not [yet] over. Let us continue following such protocols as wearing a face mask and keeping distance, especially in public places,” he said.