COVID vaccination of kids aged 5 to 11 starts next week: Palace

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 25 2022 12:16 PM | Updated as of Jan 25 2022 06:52 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) — COVID-19 vaccinations for Filipino children aged 5 to 11 will finally start next week, Malacañang said on Tuesday. 

"Ito po ay sisimulan na sa Feb. 4, 2022. Phased approach po ito kung saan ang phase 1 ay isasagawa muna sa NCR," said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles. 

(This will start on Feb. 4. This will be a phased approach wherein phase 1 will be done in NCR.) 

The country will get its first 780,000 doses of the pediatric formulation for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 31. About 1.8 million more doses will be delivered a few days later, said National Task Force Against COVID-19 consultant Dr. Ted Herbosa. 

“Ang target around the middle of February, makakapag-nationwide na tayo with the delivery of doses na dadating pa,” he said in a televised public briefing. 

(The target is around the middle of February, we will be able to go nationwide with the delivery of additional doses.) 

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The Pfizer vaccine has an efficacy rate of 90 percent among children aged 5 and above, with "very mild" adverse events, according to recently resigned Food and Drug Administration chief Eric Domingo. 

PHASED IMPLEMENTATION 

Vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr. said the training of health care workers for the said vaccination is underway, noting that the formulation for children's vaccines is safe. 

“Kasama po dito ang capacity building ng vaccination teams, ‘yung town halls to the public, vaccination site preparation, at saka po ‘yung vaccine site final inspection na gaganapin po mula Jan. 25 hanggang Jan. 31,” said Galvez.

(This includes capacity building in vaccination teams, town halls with the public, and the vaccine site final inspection from Jan. 25 to 31.)

“Makaka-assure po tayo... sa ating mga magulang na very safe ang ating gagamitin na bakuna dahil ito ay mas mababa ang formulation na angkop para sa mga bata,” he said.

(I assure the public, especially the parents, that the vaccines are safe and the formulation is suited for children.)

The Phase 1 of the vaccination rollout will be made in 2 vaccination sites per city in Metro Manila, while the second phase would include the pilot rollout in other regions.

There are some 13.5 million children aged 5 to 11 in the Philippines, the DOH earlier said. 

The Philippines has fully vaccinated some 57.2 million of its 109 million population. At least 6.2 million people have received booster shots. 

The country has recorded a total of 3,459,646 confirmed COVID-19 cases, as of Tuesday, of which 247,451 or 7.2 percent remain active.