The country’s young population has to receive Covid-19 vaccine booster shots as soon as possible with expanded face-to-face (F2F) classes impending, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said on Monday.

Concepcion made the statement as the government earlier decided to postpone Filipinos aged 12 to 17 without co-morbidities.

“Sana they become more reasonable, kasi itong mga 12 to 17 na kabataan natin na may pasukan na face-to-face this August, pumayag na sila sa pagbigay ng mga bakuna dito na first booster lang naman ito,” he said in a “Laging Handa” briefing.

The suspension came as the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) enforced a new condition that only allowed non-immunocompromised individuals aged 12 to 17 to receive booster shots if at least 40 percent of the senior citizens in their areas had already received their additional jabs.

“Pero iyong HTAC, ang bagal ng galaw nila, at nahihirapan na rin ang DOH (Department of Health). So maraming napu-frustrate ngayon dito sa atin,” Concepcion said.

The Department of Education is expecting schools to have a full implementation of F2F classes next school year.

The government has also allowed schools under Alert Level 1 to relax social distancing requirements for the upcoming school year.

Public school classes for school year 2022-2023 are scheduled to begin on Aug. 22. John Ezekiel J. Hirro