COVID-19 shots for minors must be OK'd by IATF — Robredo

Published August 12, 2021, 2:30 PM

by Raymund Antonio

As the number of pediatric COVID-19 cases rises, Vice President and opposition leader Leni Robredo on Thursday, August 12, said the public should wait for the government’s decision on allowing minors or those below 18 years old to get their COVID-19 jabs.

Vice President Leni Robredo (OVP)

Since she is not a health expert, the vice president deferred to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on giving the “go-signal” for the country to start vaccinating its younger population.

“Marami na ngayong mga pag-aaral na ginagawa [sa] safety at saka efficacy ng pagbakuna sa mga bata. So iyon iyong hinihintay natin (There are a lot of studies now being made on the safety and efficacy of vaccinating the children. So, that’s what we are waiting for),” she said on the sidelines of the Vaccine Express in Quezon City.

READ: NTF mulls COVID-19 vaccination of children by September

Like many, Robredo shared that she heard reports of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in children since they are the ones who are not vaccinated.

They also have a higher chance of becoming “severe cases,” the vice president added.

The Philippine General Hospital (PGH) earlier reported treating six pediatric patients for COVID-19 as the number of positive cases for ages between 0 and 9 years old are also in the thousands.

READ: PGH records 6 pediatric COVID-19 cases, 3 critical

A report also said that one child already died due to complications from COVID-19.

But early this week, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said it is not yet time to vaccinate children because of the lack of COVID-19 supply. The priority, he added, is still to vaccinate the adults first for the protection of the children in their homes, too.

To date, only US-made Pfizer has an emergency use authorization for the use of its COVID-19 vaccine on those aged 12 to 15. Chinese-made Sinovac will reportedly apply for emergency use authorization to use its vaccine to children as young as three years old.