COVID-19 vaccination for kids aged 5-11, targeted to start on February 4

By Regina Elaine Vendivil

The Philippine government targets to start vaccinating minors aged 5 to 11 beginning February 4, 2022, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire announced in a press briefing on Tuesday, January 25. 

This is after the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended the extension of the usage of a reduced dosage of Pfizer’s (PFE.N) COVID-19 vaccine to minors of the said age group.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be used for pediatric inoculation as this remains the only vaccine approved for emergency use by the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration.

“Bagama’t parehong Pfizer vaccine ang ibibigay sa 12 to 17 at 5 to 11, magkaiba po ang formula ng bakuna para sa kanila. Para siguradong tama ang bakuna na ituturok, magkaiba ang kulay ng takip sa mga botelya ng bakuna. Iba po ang kulay sa 12 to 17, at iba rin po sa 5 to 11,” Vergeire said.

The recommended dosage by the WHO for the younger population is 10 micrograms, lower than the approved 30 micrograms for ages 12 years and older. 

Additionally, WHO Vaccine Director Kate O’Brien said that no safety concerns were raised for the use of Pfizer’s vaccine in 5 to 11 years old in clinical trials.

Furthermore, Vergeire added that parents can now enlist their children for vaccination in their respective local government units.

“Magdala po kayo ng mga dokumento na nagpapatunay ng relasyon ng anak sa magulang katulad ng birth certificate, baptismal certificate, at iba pa,” Vergeire said. 

Parents must also bring their valid ID with photo, along with their children’s valid ID.

The start of vaccination for children is “welcome news” as the Department of Education has been planning for the eventual shift to limited face-to-face classes in the school year 2022 to 2023, as mentioned by Education Assistant Secretary Malcolm Garma last December 2021.

References:

Magsambol, B. (2021, December 17). DepEd “very optimistic” of shift to limited face-to-face classes in school year 2022-2023. Rappler. Retrieved from https://www.rappler.com/nation/deped-optimistic-transition-limited-face-to-face-classes-2022-2023/‌ 

Magsambol, B. (2022, January 25). PH gov’t targets COVID-19 vaccination for kids aged 5 to 11 on February 4. Rappler. Retrieved from https://www.rappler.com/nation/philippine-government-targets-covid-19-vaccination-kids-aged-5-11-february-4-2022/‌ 

Roy, M., & Maddipatla, M. (2022, January 22). WHO recommends reduced dose Pfizer COVID vaccine for under 12s. Reuters; Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/world/who-advisory-panel-recommends-extending-use-pfizer-vaccine-5-11-year-olds-2022-01-21/‌