MANILA—The Department of Health is not yet recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 12 to 17, a health official said Monday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the agency's all experts' group was still studying the safety and equity of giving the anti-virus jabs to minors.
"Hanggang ngayon po hindi pa naibibigay ang kompletong rekomendasyon ng ating all experts," she said in a press briefing.
(Until now, our all experts have not given their complete recommendation.)
Vergeire made the clarification after another health official said last week that the panel had given the greenlight of vaccinating children.
"We'd like to emphasize that she might just be referring to the emergency use authority given to Pfizer and Moderna," she said.
The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of both vaccines on minors as the more contagious Delta variant hit some children.
"This still has to be supplemented by the recommendation of DOH, based on our experts' group recommendation," Vergeire said.
Although children can still get COVID-19, she stressed that adults remained at most risk of dying, severe infection, and hospitalization.
"Kapag stable na ang suplay natin, t'saka siguro magkakaroon talaga ng diskusyon about the children's vaccination," Vergeire said.
(Once our supplies are stable, maybe that's the time we discussed about children's vaccination.)
"... And we would like to assure and to ensure that these vaccines will be safe among our 12 to 17," she added.
As of Sept. 19, the Philippines has administered over 41.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Of the figure, more than 22.8 million have received the first shot while 18.5 million were fully vaccinated.