Indonesia approves Pfizer’s booster shot for ages 16 & above

A health worker takes the body temperature of an elderly man before a booster shot of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during a third dose vaccination campaign at South Tangerang Regional General Hospital in Tangerang, Indonesia on Jan 24, 2022. (TATAN SYUFLANA / AP)

JAKARTA / SINGAPORE / MANILA / HANOI / ISLAMABAD – Indonesia's food and drug authority BPOM has approved the emergency use authorization for Comirnaty as a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for the age group of 16 years and above.

Head of BPOM Penny K. Lukito told local media that the mRNA-platform vaccine, developed by Pfizer in collaboration with BioNTech, is the first vaccine to have received approval for a booster dose for this age group.

The third phase clinical trial on subjects aged 16 years and above showed the effectiveness of the booster vaccine with 95.6 percent efficacy in preventing the COVID-19 infection.

Comirnaty vaccine had received the emergency use approval from Indonesia as a primary vaccine for those aged 12 and above, and as a booster dose for the age group of 18 years and above.

A health worker inoculates a student with a dose of the Pfizer vaccine against the coronavirus at his school in Karachi on Jan 24, 2022. (ASIF HASSAN / AFP)


Pakistan reported 392 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, the country's ministry of health said on Tuesday.

The overall tally of the infected people climbed to 1,555,639 across the country with the fresh cases, according to the data released by the ministry.

A total of 30,490 people died of COVID-19 in Pakistan, with two deaths over the last 24 hours, according to the ministry's statistics.

A health worker (right) walks past people queueing up for coronavirus swab tests outside a gymnasium in Manila on Jan 7, 2022. (STR / AFP)


The Philippines reported 2,646 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 3,782,822.

The Department of Health (DOH) said the number of active cases slightly dropped to 32,099, and 12 additional patients died from COVID-19 complications, pushing the country's death toll to 60,749.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told a news conference that the country remains "low risk" and Metro Manila at "moderate risk."

Despite the continuous case increase, Vergeire said more than half of the country's hospital admissions remain asymptomatic and mild.

A notice warning people not to gather in groups larger than five persons as part of restrictions to hald the spread of the coronavirus is displayed at Raffles Place financial business district in Singapore on Jan 4, 2022. (ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP)


Singapore reported 10,230 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total tally to 1,728,995.

Of the new cases, 659 cases were detected through PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and 9,571 through ART (antigen rapid test) tests, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Health.

Among the PCR cases, 632 were local transmissions and 27 were imported cases. Among the ART cases with mild symptoms and assessed to be of low risk, there were 9,244 local transmissions and 327 imported cases, respectively.

Four more deaths were reported from COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total death toll to 1,524, the ministry said.

Passengers wait for transportation outside the arrival hall of Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on March 15, 2022, as Vietnam announced the return of a visa exemption policy for 13 countries in an effort to kickstart its tourism sector. (NHAC NGUYEN / AFP)


Vietnam recorded 2,017 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, up by 640 from Monday, according to its Ministry of Health.

Among the new cases, 2,000 were locally transmitted and the rest were imported.

The newly reported infections brought the total tally to 10,783,026. The country reported a new death from the pandemic in the central Binh Thuan province on Tuesday, bringing the total fatalities to 43,094.

As of Tuesday, there were 39 severe cases in need of assisted breathing in the Southeast Asian country, according to the ministry.