The Philippines joins a number of other countries that are vaccinating minors against COVID-19
The Philippines will begin to vaccinate children aged 12 to 15 against COVID-19 starting Friday, October 15. They join a number of other countries across the world that are doing the same, varying only in age ranges covered and the brands of vaccines administered.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), vaccines are usually tested on adults first and then, once they’ve been deemed safe for adults, are tested in children. This is because children, or anyone under 18 years of age, are still growing and developing.
Vaccines for COVID-19 in particular prioritized adults because the disease is more serious and dangerous in older people. Since most kids are at low risk of serious disease, vaccinating them is more about reducing transmission, which can also be achieved through public health measures.
A number of different vaccines are being administered to children in different countries. The WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) says that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is suitable for children aged 12 and above, and that those aged 12 to 15 who are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 may be offered this brand as protection against the disease.
In the Philippines, the vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna have been granted emergency use authorization for minors as young as 12 years old last June and September, respectively. Only those who fall under that age group and have underlying medical conditions can be vaccinated in pilot areas in Metro Manila.
Abroad, some countries are sticking with the same restrictions, while others like Cuba, the United Arab Emirates, and China, are vaccinating kids as young as two or three years old.
Both Denmark and Spain have vaccinated most of their child population with at least a single dose. In France, all teenagers must show a health pass, or pass sanitaire, as proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter public places like cinemas and museums.
Below is a list of the countries that have begun vaccinating their younger population against COVID-19:
- El Savador
- San Marino
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States