Defensor: Let people choose COVID-19 booster brand
By Billy Begas
Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor on Wednesday urged local government units (LGUs) to allow people to choose which brand of COVID-19 vaccine they would take for their booster shot.
Defensor also urged LGUs to adopt the guidelines issued by the Department of Health (DOH) on mix-and-match of primary jabs and booster shots and clearly indicate in their registration websites which vaccines are available.
He lamented that Quezon City’s supposedly uncomplicated Vax Easy registration system does not show which brand of vaccine is offered in what vaccination center.
“All it shows are the inoculation centers and the number of slots still available, leaving the registrant to guess which booster to choose,” he said.
Defensor said this is one of the reasons why many city residents are not registering “for fear that they would just waste their time by returning home if they do not like the vaccine when they go to their preferred vaccination site.
He said the Quezon City LGU “should be transparent in its registration process by making clear what vaccines are available so people would not waste their time or feel deceived.”
Defensor pointed out that based on the DOH mix-and-match guidelines, those who have received their primary shots have the option to choose Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or Moderna as their booster.
He said many individuals prefer Pfizer or Moderna as their booster dose.
Defensor said that Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) ran out of vaccine supply last week because it offered Pfizer as booster.
“Unlike the QC Vax Easy online site, VMMC made it clear it was offering Pfizer. That’s why people trooped there in droves,” he said.
Defensor urged the hospital to resume its booster vaccination service.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque lll has blamed VMMC for failing to immediately request for replenishment of its supply when the stock ran low.