Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., gives an update to President Rodrigo Duterte during a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Matina, Davao City on Sept. 2, 2021. (File photo by ARMAN BAYLON/ Presidential Photographers Division)
MANILA, Philippines — The national government is proposing to start the COVID-19 vaccination of minors aged 12 to 17 years old by mid-October, prioritizing those with comorbidities and children of health workers, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the national vaccine manager, said in the second taped briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte that started airing late Wednesday night.
According to Galvez, the Philippines currently has a stockpile of 23.75 million doses and is expecting an additional 20 million to be delivered by the first week of October.
With the current supply of vaccines and the expected deliveries, the government can already vaccinate more people in other sectors, especially now that Metro Manila and several cities already have a vaccine supply "saturation."
"We are proposing to open the vaccination for children by mid-October. We are capable of vaccinating 12 million who are 12 to 17 years old," he said. "But our recommendation is that we first vaccinate those comorbidities and the children of health care workers."
So far, only US-made COVID-19 vaccines Moderna and Pfizer have been approved to be used on minors from 12 to 17 years old.
Galvez said that the government was also proposing to open up COVID-19 vaccination by November "or even earlier."
So far, 19 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with 23.1 million Filipinos partially vaccinated, meaning they received only one dose.
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