The Philippines will roll out COVID-19 vaccines to minors starting Oct. 15, Malacañang said Thursday as it sought to expand inoculations due to a surge in virus infections.
Those aged 12 to 17 with underlying health conditions will be prioritized for vaccination among minors, the Department of Health said. So far, the Philippines has cleared two vaccine brands for pediatric vaccination--Pfizer, and Moderna.
"The pilot will begin on Oct. 15, 2021 under a phased approach as may be determined by the National Vaccination Operations Center," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Other children and teens could soon be included in the vaccination program once the country secures more supplies of jabs, the DOH had said.
The following are the main considerations of the DOH for the vaccination of minors:
1. Informed consent by the parent /guardian and child prior to vaccination will be obtained
2. Supply availability of Pfizer and Moderna, the only vaccines with emergency use authorization for 12 to 17 years old issued by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration
3. Equitable access to medical clearance by a physician for children with comorbidities
The expansion of the country's COVID-19 vaccination program to the general public also starts this October.