Delay in commencing booster shot campaign due to syringe shortage

The Health Emergency Operation Center (HEOC) is preparing to kick off a wide campaign to administer a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to the general public.

The Health Protection Agency began administering a third dose of the two-dose vaccine on November 4th to those over 60 years of age, immunocompromised individuals, and front-line healthcare professionals. The category has now been expanded to include all individuals over the age of 50. HEOC has decided to administer an additional shot to all eligible to receive the vaccine under a special campaign.

On Saturday, HEOC said 100,620 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which will be used as a booster shot, have been received. Preparations are underway to kick off the new vaccine campaign, and the center is currently procuring the syringes required to administer the shots, HEOC said. They said there is a global shortage of syringes at this time, adding that there are delays in receiving the syringe shipment that was expected with the vaccines. The booster campaign will commence as soon as the syringes are received and other preparations are arranged, HEOC said. Despite the unavailability of needles, the center would continue administering the additional shot to the current categories.

As per the latest statistics released by HPA, 396,358 people have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 366,165 people have received two doses. The booster shot has been administered to 22,093 people.