The country is set to start its nationwide coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination for children aged 12 to 17 on Nov. 3, the Department of Health (DOH) announced on Wednesday, Oct. 27.
“The Department of Health, together with the Vaccine Cluster, will begin the nationwide rollout of COVID-19 vaccination among all children aged 12 to 17 starting Nov. 3,” the DOH said in a statement.
The DOH made the statement after Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. announced the nationwide rollout of pediatric vaccination during a television interview on Wednesday.
"All regions will be represented. It will be parang pilot sa all regions...Wala na tayong sequential (This won't be sequential)," said Galvez in an interview with CNN Philippines.
In a Viber message to reporters, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that guidelines for the full rollout of pediatric vaccination are currently being drafted.
“Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will still be used among children during the nationwide rollout. Further details and the guidelines with regard to the nationwide expansion of pediatric vaccination will be released once finalized,” said Vergeire.
Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the DOH said there are around 12.7 million children aged 12 to 17 nationwide.
“As of Oct. 26, 18,666 minors with comorbidities received their first dose of vaccine during the initial phase of the pediatric vaccination in the NCR (National Capital Region),” the DOH said.
Last Oct. 15, the government commenced the pilot run of pediatric vaccination of 12 to 17 year old children with comorbidities in Metro Manila. As of Oct. 20, a total of 24 hospitals and facilities in Metro Manila are participating in the pediatric vaccination.
The DOH encouraged the eligible adult population to immediately get vaccinated against COVID-19, particularly the senior citizens (A2) and those with comorbidities (A3).
“The DOH continues to urge the adult population, especially those belonging to priority groups A2 and A3, to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to achieve the cocoon effect which protects the children at home,” it said.
“The Department further emphasizes that choosing to get vaccinated will not only protect the person itself but also those around, along with the strict and religious adherence to minimum public health standards and other preventive measures implemented,” it added.