MANILA—Nearly 7 million children in the Philippines have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, its vaccine czar said on Monday, as the country continued to log an uptick in coronavirus infections.
According to National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr., 6.88 million — or 54 percent of minors aged 12 to 17 — have received their primary COVID-19 shots while 8.49 million (67%) have taken their first jab.
"Sa assessment po namin, kung magtuloy-tuloy po ang output natin, kaya po nating matapos ang pagbabakuna ng kabataang edad 12 hanggang 17 anyos by end of March at makapagsimula po ng boosters by April kapag pinayagan na po tayo ng mga expert," Galvez said during taped public briefing led by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Authorities will continue to pursue immunizing children aged 5 to 11, Galvez added, saying millions of COVID-19 vaccines formulated for the age bracket by drugmaker Pfizer-BioNTech are set to arrive in the coming months.
Coronavirus shots manufactured by China-based Sinovac for kids aged 3 to 17 are also set to be procured once it has been approved the Philippine Food and Drug Administration, the official said.
Based on Galvez's data, the Philippines has fully vaccinated at least 55 million people, including 48.2 million adults, as of writing.
More than 4.7 million have also received their booster shots, he said.
The Philippines earlier Monday logged 37,070 fresh COVID-19 cases, the 6th consecutive day it logged more than 30,000 new infections.
Data from the health department showed the country's positivity rate was at a high 46 percent, based on samples of 77,410 individuals on January 15, Saturday.
The Philippines has so far tallied 3,242,374 coronavirus cases, of which 290,938 or 9 percent are active infections. It has registered 52,929 fatalities and 2,898,507 recoveries from the respiratory disease.