Mayor Sara asks DOH to allow ‘booster shots’ for health care workers

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 Sep) – As cases in the city continues to surge amid the presence of variants, the local government of Davao has asked the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao to allow the administration of booster shots for healthcare workers against coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Mayor Sara Duterte said Monday.

Vaccination in Davao City. MindaNews file photo

She said this during her program over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) in reaction to reports on “severe” shortages of healthcare workers in medical institutions after many of them contracted the highly infectious disease.

The mayor said that the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force passed a resolution on Monday requesting the DOH to approve the rollout of booster shots of those who belong to priority A1 or healthcare workers to ensure that they get protected from the infection.

“We passed a resolution seeking permission… from the regional office of DOH to allow the rollout of booster shots to all health workers working inside hospitals. That’s the action of COVID-19 task force,” she said.

There are a total of 672,305 individuals who received the first dose in the city as of September 15 and 421,852 for the second dose. Of this figure, 60,240 health care workers already got the first dose and 47,941 with the second dose.

As of 2:30 p.m. Monday, Dr. Annabelle Yumang, DOH-Davao regional director, has yet to comment on the request of the local government and release the number of health workers in the city who contracted the infection despite getting fully vaccinated.

But last September 13, the DOH said that its experts are discussing the possibility of allowing “booster doses.”

“Right now, there is no final recommendation from the experts or from the DOH regarding the giving of booster doses,” the agency said.

Duterte recognized the problem of lack of healthcare workers due to the outbreaks in the hospitals.

“The problem of lack of healthcare workers? There’s no solution to that. That has been a ‘blank wall’ since last year there at our hospitals. There is a really severe shortage right now because of outbreaks in hospitals,” she said.

As of Sunday, DOH-Davao reported 385 new cases in the city, bringing the total cases to 46,638 with 9,728 active, 35,530 recoveries, and 1,380 deaths.

The DOH-Davao confirmed the detection of 36 additional Delta cases last September 13, of which 32 are local cases, one returning overseas Filipino, and three others who were tested and sequenced by other regions are still for verification.

To date, the DOH-Davao reported a total of 537 variants of concern (VOC) cases: Alpha variant, 139 cases; Beta, 304 cases; and Delta, 94 cases (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)