By Joseph B.A. Marzan
Children aged 5 to 11 years of age would have to wait maybe until 2022 to get their coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines, according to the Department of Health-Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH-WV CHD) on Monday.
In its last Isyung Bakuna press briefing for 2021, DOH-WV CHD spokesperson Dr. Marie Jocelyn Te said that they have yet to receive any recent advisory from the national government over pediatric vaccinations.
Thus, Te said parents cannot expect their children to get vaccinated in the last days of the year.
“We are waiting for the [national government] to announce. If [vaccinations of 5- to 11-year-olds] have started in other countries, and when we start here in the Philippines, we will definitely have advisories on that by the national Inter-Agency Task Force plus the DOH,” she added.
Philippine Food and Drug Administration Director General Eric Domingo announced on Dec 23 that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine had been given Emergency Use Authorization for children aged 5 to 11 years old.
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas also told Daily Guardian last Dec. 23 that the city government will start vaccination of the said age group “as soon as there are available guidelines and [COVID] vaccines.”
As of this writing, the only pediatric age group allowed for COVID-19 vaccination in the country are those aged 12 to 17 years old.
DOH-WV CHD data indicated that 3.05 million persons are now fully vaccinated in Western Visayas as of 6 a.m. of Dec 27, 2021, including 24,388 minors with comorbidities and 582,692 other minors who have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.
The number includes 7,810 minors with comorbidities and 343,178 other minors who have been fully vaccinated, and 16,578 minors with comorbidities and 239,514 other minors who have been partially vaccinated.