THE National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow the administration of second booster dose on overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and uniformed personnel.

NTF chairman Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said they submitted a request to the FDA after some manpower agencies advised OFWs, including seafarers, to have their fourth Covid-19 shot for their employment.

He said they are also seeking the second booster dose for uniformed personnel assigned in critical areas.

The National Government rolled out in April the implementation of a second booster dose to immunocompromised persons, including those who underwent organ transplant, cancer, dialysis and HIV patients and those with primary immunodeficiencies.

On Wednesday, May 18, the Department of Health (DOH) announced that senior citizens and frontline healthcare workers are already eligible to receive a fourth dose.

Galvez said the National Government is expediting the approval of a second booster dose of more priority groups to further expand the country’s protection especially amid the threat of sub variants said to be more transmissible.

The DOH earlier confirmed there is already local transmission of the Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1 in the National Capital Region, Western Visayas and Puerto Princesa.

For the inoculation of the youth, Galvez said they are targeting a 90 percent vaccination rate among five to 17-year-old, which will pave the way to further expand the conduct of face-to-face classes.

He said they are continuously studying the possibility of inoculating them with booster doses.

As of May 18, a total of 68,838,393 individuals, including 2.5 million children ages five to 11, and 9.3 million adolescents, in the country have been fully vaccinated, while 13,732,500 have received booster doses.

The NTF earlier said there were around 14 million children five to 11 years old who are eligible for Covid-19 vaccination, while 11.4 million with age ranging from 12 to 17 years old have also been identified. (SunStar Philippines)