The Department of Health on Saturday said the government had yet to approve the rollout of a second booster shot to the general population as it was still studying its benefits and risks.

“Kami po ay paulit-ulit na nagpapaalala sa ating mga local governments, pati na rin po sa ating mga kababayan: Ito pong fourth dose o iyong second booster shot for the general population, hindi pa po tayo nakakakumpleto ng ebidensiya,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a “Laging Handa” briefing.

Vergeire said current evidence showed the benefits had yet to outweigh the risks.

“Kaya gusto po natin, maghintay pa po tayo ng further na ebidensiya, para po tayo ay makasiguro,” she added.

Vergeire also pointed to the availability of vaccines that had been reformulated to address the sub-variants of Omicron.

“Maghintay lang po ang ating mga kababayan, huwag po tayong mainip, dahil ito pong ating third doses o iyong ating first booster shot hanggang sa ngayon, according to our experts, still works for us,” she said.

The Philippines has more than 70 million fully vaccinated individuals as of June 4, of which 14,474,664 have received booster shots. John Ezekiel J. Hirro