The Philippines will have enough supply of COVID-19 vaccines intended for children ages five to 11 after pharmaceutical giant Pfizer committed to supply the country with 30 million vaccine doses, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Saturday, Feb. 5.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that such a number is sufficient to fully vaccinate the entire population of Filipino children aged five to 11.
There were about 15 million children in the Philippines who belong to the said age group, the DOH recently said.
“Sinigurado po ng ating gobyerno through our Vaccine Czar. Nakipag negotiate tayo sa Pfizer at mayroon na po tayong committed na doses na about 30 million doses of this Pfizer vaccine for our children. Iyan po ay husto sa dalawang doses ng ating mga 15 million na five to 11-year-old na bata (Our government ensured the supply through our Vaccine Czar. We have negotiated with Pfizer and have committed about 30 million doses of this Pfizer vaccine for our children. That will already cover the two doses needed for the 15 million children aged five to 11-year-old),” said Vergeire during an interview with radio DZBB.
“Ito pong ating mga supplies dumadating po iyan in tranches. So dumating po kagabi 780,000 na doses para sa ating mga kabataan and sunod sunod na po iyan na darating (The supplies are being delivered in tranches. Last night, 780,000 doses arrived which are intended for the children),” she added.
The COVID-19 vaccination for five to 11-years-old is set to be launched on Monday, Feb. 7.
Booster shots for children
Meanwhile, the administration of booster shots for the pediatric population is still not allowed by the government, said Vergeire. So far, those who are eligible to receive a booster dose are individuals 18-years-old and above.
“Yun pong booster shots para sa ating mga kabataan, wala pa pong kumpletong ebidensya across the globe na kailangan po nila ngayon ng booster shots (There is still no complete evidence across the globe that they need booster shots now),” said Vergeire.
“Aantayin po natin since science is evolving. Kung saka-sakaling irekomenda ng international experts and then ipapa-evaluate po natin sa Food and Drug Administration. Pero sa ngayon po 2 doses palang po ang kailangan nila (We will wait since science is evolving. If it is recommended by international experts, we will then ask the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate it. But for now, they only need two doses),” she added.