DOH: Kids not yet in COVID vaccination priority until there’s enough supply
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is not recommending the inclusion of children in the vaccination priority until there is a stable vaccine supply in the country.
DOH Undersecretary and spokesperson Ma. Rosario Vergeire on Friday said that one of the primary considerations in the inoculation of children with COVID-19 vaccines is the supply, especially as the country follows a prioritization system.
“Tayo ay pinag-aaralan lahat yan with our group of experts but right now our position, until the supplies are here we cannot recommend that children be included in our priorities for vaccination,” Vergeire said in a press briefing.
(We are studying that with our group of experts but right now our position is that until the supplies are here, we cannot recommend that children be included in our priorities for vaccination.)
Due to the challenge in vaccine supply, Vergeire said that the country is following a prioritization scheme based on the World Health Organization’s framework.
This framework, however, states that children are the least risk of having severe infections from the disease, said Vergeire.
“Looking at that framework and looking at our statistics, nakikita natin (we can see that) children are the least affected by the virus, they have the least risk of having severe infections from this virus and having to be hospitalized,” Vergeire said.
“With that, tayo ay nandyan sa position ngayon na because of limited supplies, hindi muna natin uumpisahan. Pero kapag nandyan na ‘yung supplies, of course the children will be part of this vaccination program,” she added.
(With that, we are of the position that because of limited supplies, we will not begin our inoculation yet for the sector. But once the supplies are there, of course the children will be part of this vaccination program.)
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said that the Philippine government is eyeing to start vaccinating the pediatric sector or persons 17 years old and below by September or October.
Galvez also said he is looking forward to Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine securing an emergency use authorization (EUA) allowing it to be administered on those aged 12 to 15.
Pfizer’s existing EUA states it can be administered to individuals 16 years old and above.
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