The Philippines on Thursday logged 288 new COVID-19 cases as regulators approved emergency use of Pfizer vaccines on kids aged 5 to 11 years old.
This brought total active cases to 9,251. The were also 270 new recoveries and 65 new deaths based on data from the Department of Health.
Since the pandemic started, the Philippines has reported a total of 2,837,903 COVID-19 cases of which 2,777,671 recovered and 50,981 died.
Two cases were removed from the total case count, and moved to the recoveries tally.
Another 167 cases tested negative and were removed from the total case count, all of which were recoveries.
There were also 60 cases previously tagged as recoveries reclassified as deaths after final validation.
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has an efficacy rate of above 90% among children five to 11 years old, with very mild adverse effects among the age group based on clinical trials, according to the Food and Durg Administration.
"Nakita naman talaga natin na it is reasonable to believe that the vaccine may be effective to prevent COVID-19 and the benefits of vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks," FDA director general Eric Domingo said during a public briefing.
The FDA earlier approved the emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for minors 12 to 15 years old. Along with Moderna, it is now being used to inoculate minors against COVID-19.
Molnarz, a brand of the anti-COVID drug Molnupiravir, was also given an emergency use authorization in the Philippines.
To keep safe during Christmas, Filipinos are encouraged to skip the buffet and minimize gatherings. Unvaccinated kids are also urged to meet their loved ones virtually to reduce the risk of infection.