THE government said it will continue to ramp up vaccine rollout for children by opening more vaccination sites.
National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. said that with the increasing vaccine supply in the country, the national government will continue to accelerate the vaccine rollout for the 12-17 age group.
At present, the number of partially vaccinated 12-17-year-old children with comorbidities has already reached 12,,958 since the vaccination program’s pilot rollout for the pediatric sector started last October 15.
He said that from the initial eight hospitals, the country now has 26 hospitals administering COVID 19 vaccines to the pediatric sector.
“We want to protect our children from severe disease and hospitalization. Kasi nakita natin noong Delta, almost 20 percent or 17 percent po ang nakita natin na na-hospitalize na mga bata,” Galvez said.
He added that the vaccination of children will also be instrumental in the reopening of face-to-face classes and “ancillary businesses” related to the education sector.
Galvez likewise cited the social and mental impact of restricting the movement of children since the pandemic started.
He said allowing them to have “leeway to move around and play” will not just help in protecting the mental well-being of minors, but also revive economic activities especially this Christmas season.
“We can only do these kung ma-vaccinate na rin natin ang mga bata so they will have ‘yung consumers’ confidence to go out,” Galvez said.
The NTF aims to complete the vaccination of children within this age group by December.
Based on the 2021 Philippine Projected Population of the Philippine Statistics Authority, the country has a population of 12,722,070 under the 12 to 17 years old age group.
Galvez earlier said that masterlisting will not be needed for children with comorbidities and will only be based on registration.