Before the end of the year, children may be vaccinated against COVID-19, the Department of Health (DOH) estimates.
DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje shared this at the recent Laging Handa briefing after President Rodrigo Duterte disapproved of the Department of Education’s proposed pilot face-to-face classes.
“Depende po sa dami ng makukuhang mga bakuna over the next few months, titingnan po kung maisasama na ‘yong mga child population,” said Cabotaje.
“Malamang end of the year and beginning of next year pa natin makikita kung babakunahan itong ating mga teenagers.”
It will be recalled that the Food and Drug Administration has approved the provision of COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech to children ages 12-15 after amending their emergency use authorization (EUA).
The Pfizer vaccine is currently given to A1-A5 priority groups, comprising healthcare workers, senior citizens, those with comorbidities, essential workers, and the poor.
However, it has not been immediately given to minors due to the lack of supply. DOH said they prioritize to whom they will give it.
According to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, the Philippines, and Pfizer signed an agreement for the country’s purchase of 40 million doses of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccination of teenagers possible by the end of 2021-DOH
According to Galvez, this is the largest vaccine procurement in the country this year.
Galvez said the vaccines are expected to arrive starting in August and will be distributed to all regions.
Galvez advised local government units to be prepared, especially since the temperature requirement for Pfizer vaccines is at -60 to -80 degrees Celsius.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said that they are open to giving the Sinovac vaccine to children aged 3-17 after the EU approved such a vaccine in China recently.
According to the latest government data this Sunday, up to 8.4 million COVID-19 vaccines have been injected in the Philippines. Only 2,153,942 people have completed two doses in the country.
Of those fully vaccinated, 1,053,378 or 94.24 percent were health workers (A1). A total of 1,939,599 senior citizens (A2) were given the first dose, while 536,476 were fully vaccinated.