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CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Public health workers in the city would start administering COVID-19 bivalent boosters in the city on Thursday, June 29.
The first doses of COVID-19 bivalent boosters, considered highly effective against the Omicron variant, are now available in the city, Cagayan de Oro health officer Rachel Dilla confirmed to Rapper.
Dr. Dilla said the initial 3,600 doses of bivalent boosters were brought to the city on Monday, June 26.
The official launch of bivalent booster vaccination will start on Thursday morning at the health center in Macanhan, Carmen, the most populous urban barangay in the city.
“This will be given to A1 and A2 – our frontliners and senior citizens – who have received their second booster doses at least four months prior,” Dilla said.
The initial 3,600 doses of bivalent boosters are part of the 390,000 doses donated by the Lithuanian government to the national government.
The bivalent boosters were initially released in the United States last year. These boosters have been reformulated to target both the original strain of the coronavirus and the more contagious Omicron variant, which emerged in November 2021.
Earlier, Health Secretary Ted Herbosa said more bivalent booster doses are expected to arrive soon.
“We do not know yet when the next delivery of bivalent boosters [to Cagayan de Oro] will be,” said Dilla.
She said the administration of bivalent booster shots will continue at the City Health Office on Archbishop Hayes Street after Thursday.
“It will only be available from 9 am to 4 pm on weekdays,” Dilla said.
Councilor James Judith, an ex-officio member of the city council’s committee on health, welcomed the delivery of the new booster shots, saying it showed that Cagayan de Oro is among the areas being given focus in the national government’s health agenda.
“The allotment means that the city has a clout with the Department of Health’s national office,” said Judith.
Based on City Health Office records, the primary vaccine coverage for senior citizens is 81.83%, while the first booster coverage for residents aged 12 years and older is 45.85% as of May 31.
As of June 26, the city has recorded no new COVID-19 cases but has 17 active cases.
Of the infected, nine were admitted to hospitals, while eight were in city hall’s temporary treatment and monitoring facilities.
Since March 2020, the city has experienced 978 COVID-19 deaths, with a cumulative number of cases reaching 28,630. – Rappler.com