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Concepcion lauds gov’t for swift action on boosters

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion has lauded the government for acting swiftly on the private sector’s recommendation to shorten the time for vaccinated Filipinos to get their booster shots.

It can be recalled that Concepcion and OCTA’s Nic Austriaco also released a joint statement to the national government during Go Negosyo’s Preventing the Surge Townhall last week, December 15.

“While the National Capital Region (NCR) will continue to enjoy low COVID cases and its healthcare system is at very low risk of being overwhelmed, the Philippines needs to administer booster vaccinations in as short as three to four months after the second dose to mitigate the effects of the Omicron variant,” Concepcion and Austriaco mentioned.

On Dec. 21, the Department of Health announced that all adults were now eligible to receive a single-dose booster of COVID-19 vaccine in as early as three months after the second dose of the AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinovac or Sputnik vaccine, or as early as two months for those who got the Janssen brand. Previously, the DOH was recommending booster shots after six months.

The private sector sought the earlier deployment of the boosters to better protect Filipinos from breakthrough cases such as those that can be potentially caused by the Omicron variant that is sweeping the globe, triggering fresh lockdowns or mobility restrictions.

“We need to act fast by getting ahead before the immunity from the first two doses wane. We are in a good position to increase our protection and keep our Bakuna Bubble intact now that cases are low and vaccine supply is stable,” Concepcion added.

“We are grateful that the DOH heard our call. We want to thank Sec. Charlie Galvez, Sec. Francisco Duque, Dr, Edsel Salvaña, and the vaccine expert panel including Dr. Gene Solante and FDA Director General Eric Domingo for approving the suggestion of the private sector to give the booster earlier,” Concepcion said.

“Early boosting will help us secure a win against COVID-19,” he added.

Concepcion shared that the private sector already has the vaccines for boosters in storage and are ready to deploy them quickly, now that the DOH has given its approval.

“This call for early boosting is important to prevent Omicron from hitting us hard,” he stressed,” Our numbers are very low now and continue to go down. This is not luck. This was planned so we must fortify our defenses with early boosting. We have now a lot of vaccines and if we don’t use them, these will expire.”

“When the Delta variant came and cases started rising, the private sector bit the bullet and called for a two-week strict lockdown starting August 8, to save the fourth quarter. Foresight and a pro-active stance made the difference in what the Philippines is right now: one of the safest places in the world,” Concepcion said adding  “We must vax to the max to save lives and livelihood!”.

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