The Philippines targets to begin the vaccination of children 5 to 11 years old early next month, Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, head of the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC), said.
Cabotaje said the government is just waiting for the delivery of Pfizer jabs for kids aged 5 to 11. These do not have the same formulation as those given to those aged 12 and above.
“Ang tinitingnan nating date, earliest first week of February maumpisahan natin ‘yung pagbabakuna ng ating 5 to 11. Hindi pa po tayo nagbabakuna ng 5 to 11, parating pa lang po ‘yung bakuna,” the official said during a virtual public briefing.
(At the earliest, we’re looking at the first week of February to begin the vaccination of children aged 5 to 11. Although we have not yet started, we are expecting the arrival of vaccines.)
Pfizer vaccines have an efficacy rate of 90 percent among children aged 5 and above. It also has “very mild” adverse events, according to former Food and Drug Administration chief Eric Domingo.
Earlier, DOH said there are some 13.5 million children aged 5 to 11 in the Philippines.
Vaccination of children 5 to 11 to start early next month
The government has fully vaccinated some 51.7 million Filipinos, while 57.4 million have received the first dose. In addition, 2.8 million have received booster shots, according to the NVOC.
Meanwhile, Cabotaje said authorities are investigating a report that 6 month-old received a COVID-19 vaccine shot instead of a pneumonia jab. The child has not shown any adverse reaction so far.
“In terms of the sanctions kailangan nating imbestigahang mabuti kung gross negligence ‘yan o may ibang factors,” she said.
(In terms of the sanctions, we need to investigate if it’s gross negligence or there are other factors.)
“Kailangan pag-ibayuhin natin ang ating practices, iba dapat ang (refrigerator) ng COVID-19 vaccines sa regular vaccines. We remind our implementers na hiwalay dapat ang paglalagayan at malaki ang label para ‘di sila malito.”
(We need to intensify our practices, COVID-19 vaccines must be stored separately from regular vaccines. We remind our implementers that their storage should be separate, and these should have big labels to avoid confusion.)