MANILA – The Philippines is eyeing about 29 million for pediatric vaccination using the CoronaVac, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Moderna jabs.
Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 said to be included are those aged 3 to 17 years old.
On Tuesday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire confirmed the Food and Drug Administration approved the emergency use authorization (EUA) for Pfizer-BioNTech for the 12 to 15 age bracket.
“Ito po talaga pagpe-prepare natin para ‘pag opening po ng mga classes at nakikita po natin na sizeable amount ‘yung ating pediatric population na humigit-kumulang na 29 million (We are really preparing for the opening of classes and we see that we have a sizeable amount for the pediatric population which is more or less 29 million),” Galvez said during the Cabinet meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night.
Moderna has ongoing clinical trials for 12 to 17 years old, according to Galvez, while China has granted EUA to Sinovac for 3 to 17 years old.
US-made Pfizer vaccines are already being administered to the 12 to 15 bracket in other countries like the United Kingdom.
On Monday, the government expanded the coverage of the national vaccination program to include the A4 (economic front-liners and uniformed personnel) group.
Vaccination of the A1 (health care workers), A2 (senior citizens), and A3 (adults with comorbidities) categories started in March.
Galvez reported about 93 percent of health care workers, or 1,398,710, have received their first doses, with 55 percent (827,089) already fully vaccinated.
A total of 1,537,365 senior citizens have received their first shots — 369,387 of them with second shots — while 1,473,985 persons with comorbidities are vaccinated with the first dose and 343,297 with second doses.
There are 3,850 active vaccination sites managed by local government units, the private sector, and hospitals nationwide.
Since February, the country has already received 9,329,050 doses, both donated and government-procured, of which 5,965,651 doses have been administered across 17 regions.
The Philippines still has 3,363,399 doses of coronavirus jabs in its stockpile. (PNA)