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Imbes bakuna ipamigay: Defensor backs fourth COVID-19 jab for the elderly, those with comorbidity

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By Billy Begas

Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor on Friday added his voice to the calls to give a fourth COVID-19 shot to elderly Filipinos and those with comorbidity or suffering from ailments.

At the same time, Defensor opposed the plan of the Department of Health (DOH) 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.

Defensor also urged the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to approve the recommendation of the DOH panel of vaccine experts to give a fourth dose to the elderly and those with weak immune system due to health problems.

He also noted that many countries are giving a fourth shot to boost the protection of their vulnerable citizens against COVID-19.

Based on DOH data, Defensor said of the 64 million Filipinos fully vaccinated 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,” the solon insists.

According to official data, more than 232 million doses of vaccines from various manufacturers have already been delivered to the country.

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