Gov’t plans to open COVID-19 vaccination for 5- to 11-yr-olds by January 2022
MANILA, Philippines — The national government is aiming to start COVID-19 vaccination of minors five to 11 years old by January 2022, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Monday.
This, provided that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will grant emergency use approvals to vaccines for the use of children by the end of December, Galvez said.
“Ang plano sa amin, once na lumabas ito (EUA), immediately we will execute it. Ang planning namin is 1st quarter ng 2022, so January mag-start tayo and we want to finish that immediately sa 1st quarter,” he said in an interview over CNN Philippines when asked about the inoculation of kids 5 to 11 years old.
(Our plan is, once the EUA is issued, we will immediately start vaccinating children below 12 years old. We plan to do it by the 1st quarter of 2022 so we will start in January and we want to finish that immediately in the 1st quarter.)
Galvez said the government is aiming to finish inoculating children against COVID-19 in the first quarter of 2022 to coincide with the planned reopening of classes and to combat the threat of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron.
“Ang aming plano is yung pediatric vaccination should be finished immediately so that ‘yung ating opening ng classes ay magsimula na at maprotektahan natin ‘yung ating children because of the Omicron,” he said.
(We plan to finish this immediately so classes would be able to reopen and we could protect our children against Omicron.)
“We don’t know yet the possibilities, ‘yung vulnerabilities ng mga children with this variant,” he added.
The Philippines so far is inoculating minors aged 12 to 17 years.
FDA Director General Eric Domingo earlier said COVID-19 vaccines for children below 12 years old may be available before the year ends as several vaccine makers Pfizer and Sinovac have expressed their intent to apply for an EUA to use their vaccines to kids 12 years old and below.
Galvez said the government will primarily use the 20 million more Pfizer vaccines the Philippines has secured in a new deal with the drugmaker on pediatric vaccination and booster shots.
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