Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

The nationwide rollout of coronavirus vaccination for children aged 12 to 17 years old will start on November 3, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on Wednesday.

Ominous blue coronavirus cells intertwined with DNA and white blood cells on dark (Photo Courtesy: Fierce Pharma)

In a statement, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, the only shots given an emergency use authorization for these ages, would be used for the rollout.

“Further details and the guidelines with regard to the nationwide expansion of pediatric vaccination will be released once finalized,” she said.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority shows that there are around 12.7 million children aged 12 to 17 in 2021.

As of October 26, a total of 18,666 minors with comorbidities received their first dose of the life-saving shots during the initial phase of the pediatric vaccination in the National Capital Region (NCR).

The pilot rollout for those with comorbidities started last October 15 in eight select hospitals in the NCR. This was expanded to the second phase last October 22 that included hospitals in different local government units in the region.

Phase 3 of the pediatric vaccination is set on October 29, to include select regional hospitals outside the NCR.

Children with any of these comorbidities are eligible for vaccination — medical complexity or those with long-term dependence on technical support; genetic conditions; neurologic conditions; metabolic or endocrine diseases; cardiovascular diseases; obesity; HIV infection; tuberculosis; chronic respiratory diseases; renal disorders; hepatobiliary diseases; and those who are immunocompromised due to disease or treatment.

The DOH also urged the adult population, especially those belonging to priority groups A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (persons with comorbidities), to get vaccinated in order to achieve the “cocoon effect” which protects the children at home against Covid-19.

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