By Addison Pascua


The Philippine government on Wednesday said it would begin the nationwide COVID-19 inoculations of all minors aged 12 to 17 as early as November 3 and administer third and booster COVID-19 doses for healthcare workers by November 15.

According to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., the new development came following the successful pilot rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to minors with underlying conditions, which kicked off mid-October as they were able to vaccinate more than 14,000 youth with comorbidities. 

“We will open up 'yung (vaccination ng) 12 to 17 years old sa November 3 dahil nakita natin na maganda naman ang naging result ng ating trials at pilot sa hospitals. Nakita natin very minimum 'yung adverse effects,” Galvez said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB.

"Nakapagbakuna na tayo ng more than 14,000, io-open na po natin para wala nang tinatawag nating bottleneck,” he added.

In a separate interview with CNN Philippines, Galvez assured that the country will establish around 40 to 50 more hospitals to cater the pediatric vaccination nationwide starting next month.

“Magkakaroon na tayo ng more than 50, (There will be) additional 50 hospitals all throughout the Philippines,” he noted.

While the official details and guidelines are yet to be released, the Department of Health said Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will still be used once the inoculation for minors starts.

“Further details and the guidelines with regard to the nationwide expansion of pediatric vaccination will be released once finalized,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a statement.

To recall, Galvez stated the government is targeting to vaccinate 12.7 million adolescents by December of this year to protect them from experiencing the adverse effects of the viral disease.

Meanwhile, the vaccine official also mentioned in the same dzBB interview that the government will likely start offering booster shots to healthcare workers and immunocompromised on November 15, noting that they are still waiting for specific instructions from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and World Health Organization (WHO).

"We are just waiting for the specific instructions ng FDA at ng WHO kasi meron tayong two options, yung tinatawag na homologous at heterologous, 'yung pwede i-vaccinate ay ibang brand, pwedeng same brand.  So kukuha tayo ng talagang guidance from the regulatory board, FDA, para sure po tayo," he said.

Report source: GMA News