By Elyjah Rosales

PHOTO: Philippine Star

The Commission on Higher Education on Tuesday opened the possibility of the inclusion of students in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout after it reported the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF)’s plan of adding children to the priority list in a discussion to be held this week.

CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera III told in a press briefing that the IATF would review whether the country could refer to other countries’ policies regarding such in preparation for the conduct of the face-to-face classes.

“That will be discussed in the IATF, whether that is a policy that we could also have in the Philippines,” De Vera stated.

He added that it is a “recognition” of students’ deteriorating mental health condition brought about by the isolation through the multiple lockdowns imposed on different countries.

“They’d like the students to be going out of their homes more frequently. And the answer in other countries is to vaccinate them,” furthered the CHED chairman.

Currently, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is permitted for the 16 and above aged recipients as most of the emergency use-authorized ones are all for 18 and higher.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, lowered Pfizer’s age limit eligibility to include ages 12-15.

Up to now, the Philippine FDA has yet to make a statement echoing this.

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