The Department of Health (DOH) National COVID-19 Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) is set to implement very soon the first booster (third dose) of a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for all adolescents ages 12-17 years old at least five (5) months after the second dose of the primary series, regardless of the brand of the primary series vaccine. This follows the vaccination of the immunocompromised from the same population group, which started recently last June 23, 2022.

For any COVID-19 vaccine dose to be rolled out, there must be an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); a positive recommendation by the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) based on a World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation; and NVOC implementation guidelines.

The HTAC reaffirmed its support for the efficient and effective implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination program for all adolescents, to achieve high coverage and protection. The DOH and its expert groups join the HTAC in reiterating the importance of improving the coverage of the primary series and also the first booster of all adults.

“NVOC would like to thank our esteemed colleagues in the HTAC for their support in boosting our wall of immunity. We appreciate their work as experts ensuring the most cost-effective and beneficial use of our health resources,” said Undersecretary of Health and incoming NVOC Incident Manager Dr. Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire. “NVOC will be releasing implementation guidelines very soon,” Usec. Vergeire added.