Covid-19: Philippines halves booster wait time to three months

The Philippines has fully vaccinated more than 45 million, or 41 per cent of its population

By Reuters

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Reuters file
Reuters file

Published: Wed 22 Dec 2021, 4:21 PM

The Philippines has halved to three months the waiting time for a booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine in its battle to rein in the more infectious Omicron variant of coronavirus, which has forced a global tightening of curbs.

The Southeast Asian nation joins Britain, Germany, South Korea and Thailand among a growing list of countries cutting the interval for boosters as they try to stave off a new surge in infections.

From Wednesday, adults can receive a booster dose at least three months after taking the second complement of a two-dose vaccine, versus six months earlier, acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles said.

Single-dose vaccine recipients are eligible for a booster after two months, he told a regular news conference.

The Philippines has found just three imported cases of Omicron, allowing it maintain looser curbs, as average daily infections have dropped sharply from a September peak of more than 18,500.

Everyone in the Philippines should get vaccinated, wear masks and maintain physical distancing, Nograles said, as these measures had helped limit infections.

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The Philippines has fully vaccinated more than 45 million, or 41 per cent of its population, with more than 1 million taking booster doses, Nograles added.

Its vaccination programme received additional World Bank funding, with a new loan of $300 million, to buy 27 million doses of vaccine.

The loan is key to re-open the economy safely and will help fight emerging variants such as Omicron, Ndiamé Diop, the bank’s country director for Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, said in a statement.


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