News Release

Nationwide vaccination of children 12 to 17 years old to begin this week – Palace

The nationwide rollout of the vaccination of children 12 to 17 years old against COVID-19 will begin this week following the pilot vaccination rollout for children with comorbidities in the National Capital Region.

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr. said the nationwide rollout is part of the latest Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution from the policy-making body’s October 28, 2021 meeting.

“Ito ang tinatawag na Vaccination Rollout for the Rest of the Pediatric Population para maabot po natin ang vaccination rate of 80 percent of the target population by December 2021,” said Secretary Roque in a press briefing on November 2, 2021.

However, vaccination of children below 12 years old may still have to wait a little while as vaccination for ages 5 to 11 using the Pfizer vaccine was just approved in the United States, said Dr. Edsel Salvana.

Dr. Salvana added that following the US approval for the use of the Pfizer vaccine for the younger age group, the company will still have to apply for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with the country’s Food and Drug Administration for the extension of its approval for the said age group of children.

Dr. Salvana, who is an infectious disease specialist and a member of the Department of Health Technical Advisory Group, emphasized that while children are less susceptible to severe COVID, they can still transmit the virus that is why it is for the best interest of the rest of the population to vaccinate as many people as possible including the younger age groups once an EUA is granted.

On the topic of booster shots, Salvana said scientists are still gathering data as to what is appropriate for the general population, for the immunocompromised, and for the elderly.

Salvana underscored though that if the vaccination coverage in a country is still low, it is more effective to use the vaccines for those who have yet to be vaccinated, before using the vaccines as boosters.

As of November 1, 2021 data from the National COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard, more than 59.3 million total doses have been administered nationwide. Of the total doses administered, 35.47 percent or more than 27.3 million are fully vaccinated in the Philippines, said Secretary Roque.

“Sa Metro Manila, nasa 96.34 percent o mahigit 9.4 million ang nakatanggap na po ng first dose, habang 87.78 percent, malapit na po ang 90 percent, ang fully vaccinated, katumbas ng mahigit-kumulang 8.5 million na katao,” Roque said.

Meanwhile, the President’s spokesperson mentioned that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is expected to attend, via video conferencing, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting on November 12.

The President is expected to attend the opening ceremonies, the Session on Global Economic Outlook: Presentation by the International Monetary Fund, Session on Recovering from COVID-19: Build Prosperity for All our People and Future Generations, Handover of APEC Chairing to Thailand, and the closing ceremonies, Roque said. ### OPS