The National Vaccines Operation Center (NVOC) is now crafting guidelines on the vaccination of minors aged 12 to 17 that will start next month, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said Wednesday.
“ We will give the guidelines on inoculating 12 to 17 years old to the vaccine cluster and DOH and we hope to release by next week our operational guidelines,” Cabotaje said partly in Filipino in an interview at the Laging Handa press briefing.
Cabotaje, also chairperson of the NVOC, said the government is eyeing to start the vaccination of minors on October 15, which will be piloted in the National Capital Region (NCR) – after hitting over 50 percent of the population threshold in the vaccination program.
“Because the coverage of their vaccination is getting better, particularly to those elderly, they have already fully inoculated about 50 percent of A2 and those most vulnerable,” he said in Filipino.
After a two-week test run, Cabotaje said vaccination will be opened in other regions.
She said the vaccination of minors with comorbidities such as those with medical complexity in heart, respiratory, kidney, and among others, will be prioritized.
“ We are discussing this whether we will start in the hospitals to get some reactions,” she added in Filipino.
Cabotaje said Pfizer and Moderna, which both have an approved Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will be initially used for vaccinating minors.
Both Pfizer and Moderna jabs have a two-dose interval of 28 days, similar to adult doses.
The vaccine cluster will just wait for EUA approval of the other vaccine brands before administering them to adolescents.
Parent or guardian informed consent will be required before a child could get Covid-19 vaccine shots.
Once vaccination of children will be operational, priority lanes for health workers, the elderly, and persons with comorbidities should be set up at several vaccination sites.
The Malacañang on Tuesday said President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of the vaccine cluster to start the vaccination of the general population and minors next month.
Galvez previously said some 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines will be arriving in the country by the first week of October, which can be used for the inoculation of about 12 million youngsters.