DAVAO City is among the areas in the country that need to ramp up the administration of Covid-19 booster doses, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said.

Galvez said during the Talk to the People aired on Tuesday evening, January 4, 2022, that Davao City is among the cities and provinces with ranging 70 percent to 100 percent coverage of fully vaccinated population that need to ramp up inoculation of the booster shots.

"Dapat priority natin [ito] sa ating (These are the places we need to prioritize in the) vaccination. [There is a] need to ramp up the vaccination of the boosters para at least ma-maintain po natin ang protection nitong sa mga (to maintain the protection in these) major cities," he said.

Aside from Davao City, other areas in Mindanao were also included in the list, namely, Zamboanga, Dipolog, Ipil, Cagayan de Oro, Ozamis, Kidapawan, and Butuan.

As of January 3, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said in a radio interview that a total of 1,230,245 were jabbed for the first dose or 94.64 percent of the targeted herd immunity, while 1,137,586 for the second dose (87.51 percent of the targeted herd immunity.

On the same day, the city opened the vaccination for the booster shot to the general public in all vaccination hubs in the city.

City Covid-19 Task Force Spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio Wednesday, January 5, that the city is ramping up the booster shot as it was having a slow start.

"Medyo hinay atong booster (We have a slow turnout for our booster shot vaccinees). It's not because wala tay kapasidad based sa atong (we don’t have the capacity based on our) human resource and budget," Schlosser said.

"It's because naghatag tag choices sa tao (we gave the public a choice on their preferred vaccine brand). It's either they will take a homologous or heterologous booster," Schlosser added.

Homologous dosing refers to the administration of the same vaccine brand as the ones given to complete an individual's primary vaccine series while heterologous dosing allows the use of a different vaccine type or brand.

In addition, Schlosser said the vaccine allocation in the city is currently prioritized for homologous booster.

She assured the public, however, that the city, in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao Region, is fast tracking the request for additional vaccine allocation in the city to provide simultaneous booster vaccine choices to vaccinees.

DOH, in late December 2021, had already shortened the interval between the second dose and vaccination of the booster shots into three months.

Meanwhile, Schlosser emphasized the importance of getting the booster shot, especially that the city is anticipating a possible surge in the second half of January this year, which is reportedly suspected to be the transmission of the Omicron variant.

"Very important. Now that we are anticipating a surge, and we are also anticipating the coming of the Omicron variant. And naa gyuy (There is a) study that vaccines actually work even with the new variant nga Omicron," she said.

"Kung magpa-booster sad ta (If we would get the booster shot), that would mean [an] increase in our antibody... Meaning mas naa ta (there is) added protection," she added.