More than one million doses of Pfizer vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been delivered to the country as the national government kicked off the pilot implementation of the inoculation of children and adolescents aged 12 to 17 in Metro Manila on Friday, Oct. 15.
The shipment carrying 1,015,560 doses of government-procured vaccines arrived in three batches: 77,220 doses were flown to Davao city around 6:50 a.m. Friday while 862,290 doses and 76,050 doses were transported to Manila and Cebu City on Thursday night, respectively.
At the National Children’s Hospital in Quezon City, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. graced the ceremonial vaccination of adolescents with co-morbidities (A3) which was simultaneously observed in at least seven other medical facilities.
These are the Philippine Heart Center, Pasig City Children’s Hospital, Fe del Mundo Medical Center, Philippine General Hospital, Makati Medical Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center, and Philippine Children’s Medical Center.
“We already conducted a simulation and inspection and we are ready. We gave 1,700 doses of Pfizer to each of the vaccination site,” Galvez said.
Only Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been granted with an emergency use authorization (EUA) by the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the vaccination of minors as young as 12 years old.
Minors with underlying medical condition aged 15 to 17 were the ones prioritized during the pilot which will be followed by youths aged 12 to 14.
Two weeks after the pilot, the rollout will be expanded in other hospitals in Metro Manila, and to other regions after one month.
“Vaccinating our children is a way for them tobe able to resume in-person schooling which is very important for their futures and the future of our countries,” said US Charge d’Affaires Heather Variava during the arrival of the Pfizer vaccines in Manila.
On Friday evening, around 900,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine are also scheduled to be delivered in the country.
There are now a total of 88,706,520 doses of COVID-19 vaccines that have arrived in the Philippines. Of these, the national government has administered 50,966,114 doses nationwide while the remaining shots were stored in cold storage warehouses.
A total of 27,197,923 individuals have received their first dose while 23,768,191 have been fully vaccinated. The fully vaccinated individuals represent 30.81 percent of the total 77 million eligible Filipinos that are targeted to be vaccinated by the government by the end of 2021 to achieve herd immunity.