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Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion welcomed the decision of the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) to reverse its recommendation, paving the way for the booster vaccinations of 12 to 17 year old non-immunocompromised children.
The HTAC decision takes back its earlier recommendation to first require a booster coverage rate of 40 to 70 percent among the adult population as a prerequisite for the booster vaccination of the children within the 12 to 17 age range, which were to have rolled out last June 25.
The HTAC further asked for its role to be clarified within the government and in context with other similar bodies.
“It was very big of them to do so, and I commend them for it. It must not have been an easy thing to do, but with hope, we can move on with fewer obstructionist policies and all work together to exit from this pandemic,” he said.
Concepcion had earlier criticized the HTAC for being too slow to act on Covid vaccine policies, and even contradicting itself on its decision to give boosters. Their actions, he said, have dire consequences on the country’s economic recovery. He has also recommended that the task of rolling out vaccines should be given to the Vaccine Expert Panel, and relegate non-critical tasks to the HTAC.
The Go Negosyo founder, however, reminded that there is still the matter of allowing second booster vaccinations for those who are 50 to 59 years old. Concepcion has been appealing to the HTAC to expand the coverage of second boosters to this age group as they are mostly still productive members of the workforce. Only healthcare workers, the elderly and immunocompromised are currently allowed to receive second boosters.