COVID-19 vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11 not yet available –DOH

Published December 24, 2021, 2:14 PM

by Analou de Vera

The Department of Health (DOH) said that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program is not yet open for children aged five to 11 as the government still needs to procure the specific vaccine intended for them.

“We would like to clarify that we are not yet administering COVID-19 vaccines for five to 11 years old,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Friday, Dec. 24.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Dec. 23 that it already approved the emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for individuals five to 11 years old.

“While FDA has already given EUA for Pfizer vaccines for this age group, the government will still need to procure Pfizer vaccines with lower concentration and dose suitable for five to 11 years old,” said Vergeire.

“Additionally, guidelines for the administration of COVID-19 vaccines for five to 11 years old have yet to be released,” she added.

During a public briefing on Thursday, FDA Director-General Rolando Enrique Domingo bared that the government is eyeing to include this age group to the COVID-19 vaccination program by January next year.

“Pero siyempre po iyan, depende kung nag-order na rin po sila or kung mayroon na silang na-secure, nakabili na sila ng supplies para dito po sa bakuna na pambata at kung ready na pong mag-rollout. Pero ang plano po talaga niyan ay as early as January (But of course, it still depends on whether they have already ordered or have secured vaccine supplies for this specific pediatric population, or if they are ready to roll it out. But the plan really is as early as January),” he said.

Vergeire said there are about 13.5 million Filipino children aged five to 11 across the country.

“The National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) will be releasing updated estimated figures based on 2022 Philippine Statistics Authority Population Projections once available,” she said.

READ: PH approves use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11