Commission on Human Rights (CHR)

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) expressed its full support to the Department of Health’s (DOH) expansion of the second Covid-19 booster shot rollout to include seniors and health care workers.

“CHR encourages those who remain reluctant to get vaccinated, and those who have received their primary dose, to complete the subsequent vaccine doses necessary for full protection,” Executive Director Jacqueline Ann de Guia said.

“Let us remember that as more individuals in our community get vaccinated, herd immunity makes it less likely for individuals to get sick — decreasing the spread of Covid-19 and halting its repeated mutations, that cause new variants, due to replication. There is no mutation without replication,” she said.

She pointed out that the expansion of the second Covid-19 booster shot is “timely” given the recent DOH findings on the transmission of the more contagious Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1.

She added that the public should take note of the DOH’s findings that BA.2.12.1 have both immune escape and increased transmissibility, and is also believed to be up to 27 percent more transmissible than the current BA.2 dominant subvariant in the Philippines.

The DOH had said that more than 40 million individuals who are already eligible for Covid-19 booster shots have yet to receive additional doses.

It pointed out that only 25 percent or 13.7 million of the 54.4 million Filipinos “due for booster shots” have received their additional doses.

It reminded the public to complete their Covid-19 vaccination amid the threat of Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1.

“Get vaccinated and boosted for the added protection it provides against the Covid-19 virus. New Covid-19 virus variants may emerge and may cause a spike in cases if immunity is not secured through vaccination and boosters,” the DOH said.

It added that adult Filipinos or 18 years old and above are eligible for Covid-19 booster shots, and immunocompromised individuals, senior citizens, and frontline health workers may now also receive their second booster doses.

Source: Manila Bulletin (