“In fact, even the (quick substitution list) should have been prepared beforehand,” the DOH said in a statement released to reporters on Thursday, May 20, 2021. It was in response to queries how individuals can be assured that their second dose was for the same brand of vaccine as their first.
Giving the same brand of vaccine for the two doses “is more an operational concern that can be addressed by adhering to the guidelines on masterlisting, registration, and scheduling.”
The government recently urged against the announcement of promoting specific vaccine brands after a huge crowd turnout in a vaccination site in Parañaque after people learned that Pfizer's BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was to be used that day.
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“We have to be reminded that vaccine confidence should be built in the stringent processes that lead to the vaccine development, local authorization, and recommended use of these vaccines, and definitely not by the brand,” DOH Secretary Francisco T. Duque said in a separate statement.
As of May 19, the government has inoculated over 2 million people belonging to priority groups A1, A2, and A3 — medical frontliners, senior citizens, and adults with comorbidities.
Vaccination for priority groups A4 and A5 — economic frontliners and indigents — will begin in June when additional vaccines from the COVAX facility and those procured by government arrive in June.
The focus of vaccination remains to be on the so-called National Capital Region (NCR) Plus area, which remains to be the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The government aims to achieve herd immunity after inoculating a high target of 70,000 individuals by November this year.
Can I be inoculated with a different brand of the COVID-19 vaccine for my second dose? Click here for a doctor's answer.