Marcos gov’t looks into COVID-19 vaccine targeting Omicron variant

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. during the PinasLakas vaccination campaign in Manila. Screengrab from RTVM / Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government is studying a vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron variant of COVID-19 as well as its subvariants, in a bid to bring it to the country should it be proven to be effective, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said Wednesday.

Marcos made the remark during the PinasLakas vaccination campaign in Manila, where he received his second booster dose against COVID-19.

“Now I was just told by [Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario] Vergeire, mukha namang merong ilalabas na vaccine para dito sa mga bagong variant ng Omicron,” Marcos said in his speech at the event.

(I was just told by Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire that there will be a vaccine against the new subvariants of Omicron.)

“Kaya’t pag-aaralan natin, and if it’s going to be helpful eh gagawin natin ang lahat para madala rito sa Pilipinas para mabigay natin sa lahat ng kailangan magkaroon ng booster shot,” the President added.

(We will study this, and if it is going to be helpful, then we will do everything to bring it here to the Philippines, and we can give it to those who need to receive the booster shot.)

The vaccine against the Omicron variant Marcos was referring to wasn’t specified.

However, the United Kingdom recently approved an updated Moderna vaccine against the coronavirus that targets the Omicron variant as well as the original form of the virus.

READ: UK clears new Moderna vaccine targeting Omicron variant

Getting booster shot, dropping masks

“Lalong lalo na dahan-dahang pabubukas ng ekonomiya, ayaw nating mag-lockdown, gusto natin matanggal na yung mask na protocol, lahat yan di natin maaabot kung hindi tayo magpa-booster shot ngayon,” Marcos said.

(We are slowly opening our economy and want to remove the mask protocols. We also do not want to impose lockdowns. But we cannot do all these if we will not take our booster shots.)

“Para maging safe tayo, ay kailangan talaga, we have to encourage everyone to have a booster shot para masasabi nating fully immunized,” the President added.

(We really have to encourage everyone to have a booster shot to say that we are fully immunized and safe.)

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