The Philippines may see a new Covid-19 surge in the coming weeks, which will see the observation of Ramadan, Holy Week and election-related activities, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

Dr. Rajendra Yadav, acting WHO representative to the Philippines, said Filipinos should always wear masks and get their booster shots.

“Current evidence shows that protection provided by the vaccines against infection or disease, particularly severe disease, wanes gradually. Second, there could be reduced protection against more transmissible variants of concern over time. And third, some risk groups may not develop adequate protection from the recommended primary series of the existing vaccines,” Yadav said.

The WHO representative also recommended launching vaccination strategies that could reach more people.

“WHO recommends focusing on the priority groups that remain unvaccinated and house-to-house vaccination for these groups,” Yadav said.

“We cannot continue waiting for them to come to the health facilities. Instead, we need to reach these unreached populations by deploying outreach vaccinators immediately. In addition, we need to prioritise geographical areas with the largest number of unvaccinated senior citizens,” Yadav added.

Duterte earlier this week proposed to use the country’s near-expiry Covid-19 vaccine doses in a house-to-house inoculation program.

The government aims to fully vaccinate 100 percent of the country’s target population by June.

An adviser of Duterte has made the proposal to require booster shots by June to utilize the vaccine jabs in stock and potentially fight new Covid-19 variants that might emerge. John Ezekiel J. Hirro