HTAC Recommends COVID-19 Vaccine Booster and Additional dose: Guidance and Conditions on Implementation

Released on 15 November 2021

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While the HTAC recognizes the primary importance of reaching high vaccination coverage for protection against hospitalization, severe disease and death due to COVID-19, HTAC released its preliminary recommendations for booster vaccination and additional dose on October 21, in response to the urgent request of DOH to inform possible 2022 rollout. 

Considering the need to preserve the health system and evidence on waning immunity, HTAC included in its recommendations booster doses for the A1 (healthcare workers) and A2 (senior citizens) in the 4th quarter of 2021. For 2022, HTAC also notes that the recommended booster vaccination strategies can be implemented only when acceptable vaccination coverage is achieved across eligible populations and hotspot regions. HTAC further recommends an additional dose for immunocompromised individuals in 2021 and 2022. 

As a precondition to the implementation of these recommendations, HTAC highlights the importance of the following: 

  1. An EUA issued by the Philippine FDA is needed before a COVID-19 Vaccine is used as an additional dose or booster dose.
  2. Booster and additional dose vaccination strategies should only be implemented once acceptable primary vaccination coverage is achieved across eligible population and hotspot regions.

Finally, HTAC emphasizes that these recommendations are interim and will be updated when new information becomes available, such as the upcoming ASEAN Webinar on Vaccine Security for more evidence on CoronaVac vaccination, publication of the UK COVBOOST Trial, and the WHO SAGE recommendation this November.