THE Department of Health (DOH) announced Monday evening, December 15, that booster doses of Covid-19 vaccines will be given to fully vaccinated healthcare workers beginning Wednesday, November 17, 2021.

The health department cited the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) issued by the Food and Drug Administration in making the announcement.

It clarified, though, that based on the EUA, only Moderna, Pfizer, and Sinovac vaccines will be given as booster doses regardless of the brand used for the primary series.

“Sinovac will also be offered as a booster for those that had Sinovac as primary series,” the DOH said in an advisory Monday.

It asked the healthcare workers who wish to avail themselves of the booster shots to wait for the guidelines that the National Vaccine Operations Center will release anytime Tuesday, November 16, 20.

Acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles also clarified Tuesday that the booster shots, as announced by the DOH, are only available for healthcare workers, who are under the Priority Group A1.

“Para muna po ito sa A1 - healthcare workers,” Nograles said in a press briefing.

A booster shot is given to people whose immune response may have weakened over time, while a third dose is given to people who may not have had enough immune response from the first two doses.

The DOH warned the public last week against providing unauthorized booster shots or additional doses of Covid-19 vaccines, saying it would be illegal if without the approval from the National Government.

"The ones to be held accountable are those that gave these vaccines and those who sourced out vaccines. You are also violating national protocols, which do not include yet boosters in its guidelines," said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire. (SunStar Philippines)