Gov’t aims to vaccinate 13.5 million kids 5 to 11 years old against COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — The government is planning to vaccinate around 13.5 million Filipino children aged 5 to 11 against COVID-19 as its mass inoculation program started inoculating the country’s younger population.
“We have about 13.5 million targeted 5 to 11 years old individuals. Meron tayong (We have) enough supply (of vaccines),” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told an online media briefing on Thursday.
Vergeire said the country is expecting to receive about 40 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of the year.
“Lahat ng ating (All of our) priority groups, the rest of the population, are already included in our estimates for the committed doses for 2021 sa ating bansa (in our country). We have enough supplies,” she assured.
The health official, however, said that the rollout date of anti-coronavirus shots for children 5 to 11 years old remains uncertain since there is yet an emergency use authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines that can be administered to kids in the said age group.
The Philippines recently opened the COVID-19 vaccination of children aged 12 to 17. Previously, only Filipino adults, or individuals 18 years old and above, were eligible for inoculation against the new coronavirus.
Food and Drug Administration Director-General Eric Domingo earlier expressed optimism that COVID-19 vaccines may be administered to minors aged below 12 before the year ends if vaccine manufacturers will soon apply for an expansion of their products’ EUA.
“I’m pretty sure Pfizer’s going to be ready and the Sinovac also told us that their data is being collated and will be submitted soon. So, I believe before the end of the year, we’re going to have vaccines for children below 12,” Domingo earlier said in a Palace briefing.
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