Expected vaccine supplies can be used to vaccinate up to 12 million children, says vaccine czar
(Eagle News) – The Philippine government might just open vaccination for children aged 12 to 17 years old by mid-October as the country receives more supplies of vaccines.
This was raised by National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., during the Sept. 22 Talk to the People of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We are proposing to open up the vaccination for children by mid-October. Kasi by mid of October, may additional pa tayong 20 million [doses] na darating plus ‘yung 23 million [doses], kayang-kaya na nating i-vaccinate ‘yung 12 million na mga bata na 12 to 17 [years old],” said Galvez who is also the country’s vaccine czar.
-Children with comorbidities, children of health workers to be prioritized-
But he stressed that children with comorbidities and the children of health frontliners should be prioritized.
“Pero ang recommendation po natin, mauna muna po ‘yung mga may comorbidities at saka po ‘yung mga anak po ng mga healthcare workers,” he said.
-No recommendation yet from NITAG-
The National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG), composed of the country’s vaccine and medical experts, however, is yet to make a recommendation for the vaccination of children.
If ever, the vaccines Pfizer and Moderna, can be used for vaccinating children as these brands had already been given an emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their administration to children aged 12 and above.
-Almost 66 million vaccine doses already delivered to PH-
As of September 22, the Philippines has received a total of 65,970,430 COVID-19 vaccine doses since February.
Of these supplies, 53,070,640 doses have been deployed to various implementing units with 42,659,375 shots already administered nationwide, the NTF said in a release.
Galvez said that over 23.75 million vaccine doses are still available in the country’s supply inventory. This is sufficient to sustain the country’s vaccine rollout for at least a month, he said.
The Philippine vaccination rate is at around 400,000 jabs per day.
-NCR other cities at saturation point for vaccines- Galvez-
Galvez explained that “we are now experiencing a saturation point for the National Capital Region (NCR) and other cities’ given this daily average rate.
This necessitates opening up the vaccination to other sectors, such as the children.
“Nagmi-meet na po ‘yung demand at saka ‘yung supply. At kailangan na po nating mag-open ng other sectors,” Galvez said.
-Family approach to vaccination-
The vaccine czar explained to President Duterte the bandwagon effect or the family approach which could be used so more people would be encouraged to get vaccinated.
He also cited the pilot implementation of the limited face-to-face classes where children should also be ideally vaccinated.
“So ang ano po natin para maengganyo po natin ‘yung ano ‘yung ating mga kababayan eh magkaroon po ng tinatawag na bandwagon effect na family approach at saka ‘yung sa workplace, makuha na po natin lahat- lahat,” he said.
“And then with the opening of the limited face-to-face classes, we will concentrate in fully vaccinating our teachers and school personnel. Tumawag po sa akin si (Health) Secretary (Francisco) Duque III at binigyan po ako ng instruction na kailangan po concentrated tayo sa ano sa mga schools at saka po doon sa mga teachers,” he said.
Galvez said that they are recommending the vaccination of children considering that many parents are already asking for the vaccination of children since the current Delta variant and other COVID-19 variants are now infecting even children.
He said other parents are even considering going abroad just to have their children vaccinated.
“And kaya nga po nire-recommend din po namin na ‘yung ano ‘yung ano ‘yung mga bata kasi may kagat po sa puso ng mga magulang po ‘yung ano eh ‘yung bata eh kasi lalo na po ‘yung may mga iba talagang gusto pa nila pumunta pa sa abroad para makapagbakuna ng mga bata,” Galvez said.
(Eagle News Service)