MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday, February 11, that a total of 52,262 children aged 5 to 11 have received their first jabs of the COVID-19 since the government launched its vaccination campaign for their age group last Monday, February 7.
“Simula po noong inilunsad natin ang Resbakuna Kids program, nasa tinatayang 52,262 na batang limang taon hanggang labingisa sa ating 56 vaccination sites ang nakatanggap na ng first dose,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters in a press briefing.
(Since we launched our Resbakuna Kids program, some 52,262 children five to 11 in our 52 vaccination sites have received their first dose.)
Of the over 52,000 vaccinated, only 4 children reported to have experienced mild reaction following immunization.
Vergeire said that the side effects they experienced were pain in the injection site, rashes, slight increase in blood pressure, fever, and vomiting. “Ang mga naranasang reaction ay bahagya rin pong nawala (The side effects gradually disappeared),” added Vergeire.
Just like adults, the kids are also expected to experience side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine. Vergeire, however, noted that these would be mild reactions and should not last longer than 48 hours.
Pfizer vaccine is being used for the vaccination as this is the only shot that has received emergency use approval for kids aged 5 to 11 years from the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration. The Pfizer vaccine for them has a lower dosage and lower concentration than those given to youths aged 12 to 17.
The country began vaccinating 12- to 17-year-olds in October 2021.
Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, who also heads the Philippines’ National Vaccine Operation Center, said the government aims to inoculate 15.5 million children aged 5 to 11 in the country.
The vaccination of kids is welcome news as the Department of Education plans to eventually transition to limited face-to-face classes by school year 2022 to 2023. The country has been using the distance learning system since the pandemic began in 2020. (READ: 5 ways the Philippines can prepare its schools for health crises in 2022)
The Philippines joins a number of countries, including the United States and Singapore, that have already started vaccinating kids aged 5 to 11. – Rappler.com