14M students aged 5-11 eligible for COVID-19 vaccination | Inquirer News

14 millions students aged 5-11 can get COVID-19 vaccination

/ 04:53 AM January 31, 2022

PEDIATRIC JABS A boy in the 12-17 age group gets his first dose of anti-COVID-19 vaccine. This week, it’s the turn of kids age 5 to 11 to be vaccinated. —RICHARD A. REYES

MANILA, Philippines — Around 14 million basic education students age 5 to 11 are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination program of the pediatric population set to begin on Feb. 4, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).

Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan during a Laging Handa press briefing on Friday said the Department of Health (DOH) committed to prioritizing students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 in the vaccination rollout.


“As we progress and increase the vaccination of 5 to 11 years old, we also see the confidence of our stakeholders in the expansion of [in-person] classes,” he said.


In a memorandum dated Jan. 28, the DepEd said it recognized that the immunization of the pediatric group was not only an effective strategy to end the pandemic but also an integral part of the ongoing efforts to resume in-person classes.

‘High efficacy rate’

Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said more than 168,000 children in the aforementioned age group were registered for the COVID-19 vaccination, as the government targets to inoculate 15.5 million minors.

Vaccination facilities in Metro Manila include Philippine Children’s Medical Center, National Children’s Hospital, and Philippine Heart Center.

Assistant Education Secretary Malcolm Garma said that 841 schools were currently being used for the regular vaccination program.

“For the vaccination of 5 to 11 years old, the DepEd is willing to coordinate with the local governments, DOH and National Vaccination Operations Center should there be a need to use more schools as vaccination sites,” he said.

The DepEd also urged all stakeholders to take part in the virtual orientation of the pediatric vaccination to be streamed at the agency’s official Facebook page on Monday, 5 p.m.


In December 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine an emergency use approval to be administered to children age 5 to 11.

Eric Domingo, former director of the FDA, said the vaccine experts who examined the documents of the vaccine developer observed Pfizer’s high efficacy with mild side effects.

‘Mild side effects’

“Its efficacy rate is high, above 90 percent for kids 5 to 11 years. At the same time, the adverse effects in the clinical trials were only very mild. A bit of a fever, some pain in the area of injection, but no unusual important safety signals were detected,” he said.

Cabotaje during a Laging Handa public briefing earlier this month said the formulation of the jabs for those age 5 to 11 years old would be different from that of 12 years old and above.

Meanwhile, 779,022, or 80.25 percent, of the total 970,694 teaching and non-teaching personnel of the DepEd had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine as of December 2021.

This means that 8 out of 10 field staff had their first dose of the vaccine while seven out of 10 are already fully vaccinated.

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READ: WHO says no evidence healthy children, adolescents need COVID-19 boosters

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