Robes: Gov't must inoculate children aged 5-11 to expand face-to-face classes

Published December 7, 2021, 1:44 PM

by Ben Rosario

Vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 years old should be made imperative if government intends to expand the number of face-to-face classes in the country.

Rep. Florida Robes2

In a privilege speech delivered in the House of Representatives, Rep. Florida “Rida” Robes (Lone District, San Jose del Monte City) called on the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to prioritize the vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 years old.

Robes stressed that if government makes it mandatory for college level students to get fully vaccinated for their face-to-face classes, the same standard of protection should also be given to children in the kinder and elementary levels.

“Ako po ay isang ina at alam ko ang damdamin sa ating mga anak kapag sila ay pumapasok sa eskwela lalo na ngayong panahon na ito na may naka-ambang virus na maaring nilang makuha sa kanilang pagpasok. (I am a mother and I know how it feels whenever our children go to school especially during this time that there is a thrreat of virus that might infect them in school),” said Robes.

The administration solon pointed out that children below 12 years old are still unvaccinated because government has not yet authorized it.

She added that as of the moment, no vaccine manufacturer has submitted an Emergency Use Application for children 5 years to 11 years of age.

Food and Drug Administration Director General Eric Domingo had said the government is still waiting for Pfizer BioNTech to submit an application for EUA for its Covid-19 vaccine for administration to the said age group. Pfizer has been granted by the United States FDA, European Medicines Agency and other countries EUA for children 5-11 years old.

Domingo said Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac had expressed its intention to submit its application for EUA for the inoculation of children between 5-11 years old.

Robes, chairperson of the House Committee on People Participation, said government must immediate act on the EUA applications.

“Kaya ang aking panawagan sa ating FDA na kapag nagsubmit ang mga vaccine manufacturers para sa edad 5 to 11 years ay sana’y madaliin na ang pag-aaral lalo na ang mga vaccines na ginagamit na din sa nasabing age group sa ibang bansa. (This is why I appeal to FDA to fast track the study on the vaccines that are also being used in other countries for children),”said Robes.

“In the face of this Omicron variant, we owe it to our young children to give them a fighting chance before we allow them to go back to the confines of our educational institutions,” Robes stated.