DOH says COVID-19 vaccination of kids aged 5 to 11 yet to begin

Published December 27, 2021, 5:12 PM

by Dhel Nazario

Vaccination of children aged five to 11 against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has not yet started, the Department of Health (DOH) clarified on Monday, Dec. 27.

A minor getting vaccinated at Lakeshore Hall in Taguig on Nov. 2. (Ali Vicoy)

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a DOH press briefing that preparations are still underway for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for the said age group.

This was despite the approval of the emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Dec. 23 for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for kids aged five to 11 years old.

“Pinag-uusapan pa ho natin with our experts at tsaka ng FDA kung paano po natin gagawin ito (We are still discussing with our experts and the FDA how we will proceed with this),” she said.

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

DOH reminded the public that while waiting for COVID-19 vaccines to be rolled out for the said pediatric group, they recommend that children complete their routine immunization first to be protected from more contagious and fatal diseases, like measles, rubella, tetanus and diphtheria.

FDA Director-General Eric Domingo explained before that the active ingredient in the vaccine that will eventually be used for kids aged 5 to 11 is identical with the one that is used on adults but comprises a different formulation and concentration and will be injected in smaller doses.

He also announced that vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and BioNTech have shown that its vaccine against COVID-19 delivered an overall efficacy of 90.7 percent.