DOH assures enough vaccine supply for rollout of COVID-19 jabs for children


Posted at Oct 02 2021 10:30 AM

MANILA— The Philippines has enough supply of COVID-19 vaccines allowed for children as it gears up for the start of inoculations among minors in Metro Manila on Oct. 15, an official said Saturday.

Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, chairperson of the National Vaccine Center, said they are still finalizing the guidelines, but the COVID-19 vaccine drive among minors will start with those 15 to 17 years old who have comorbidities. 

“Gagawin natin sa a few pilot hospitals dito sa NCR and then depende after one week, evaluation, tingnan natin kung ano pa kailangan natin i-refine sa ating mga procedures and then we go NCR-wide before we go nationwide,” said Cabotaje.

(We will implement this in a few hospitals here in NCR and then it would depend on maybe after one week, evaluation, we’ll see if we need to refine our procedures then we go NCR-wide, before we go nationwide.)

In an interview on TeleRadyo on Saturday, Cabotaje said only Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, that have secured emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for children, will be used for adolescent vaccination. 

“We have enough Pfizer and Moderna. Since ang target natin sa umpisa ay children with comorbidities, we are looking at about 1 or 2 million muna, and in NCR a few hundred thousands, makakasapat naman," she said. 

(Since our target at the start is children with comorbidities, we are looking at about 1 to 2 million first, and in NCR a few hundred thousands, that would be enough.)

She said they are hoping for more vaccines to arrive in the country in the last quarter of the year.

“We are expecting more Pfizer both from COVAX facility and from pino-procure natin in the last quarter—October to November—and about 8 million doses of Moderna. We are expecting about 32 million doses of Moderna for the last quarter, sasapat,” she said.

Cabotaje earlier said that children and parents or guardians should sign consent forms for the vaccination. Minors should also present medical certificates proving their health risks.

Next week, over 5.5 million Pfizer vaccines donated by the United States through the COVAX facility are expected to arrive in the country. 

As of September 30, over 21 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.