Gov’t to use half of 40M Pfizer shots for children age 12 to 15

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

June 21, 2021, 10:56 am

MANILA – Half of the 40 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines that the Philippine government secured will be used for children under the 12 to 15 age bracket, vaccine czar and National Task Force against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Sunday.

Pfizer and the government signed on Saturday a supply agreement for 40 million doses of vaccines to be delivered by the third and fourth quarter of 2021.

"Our original plan is to have only 15 to 25 (million) but considering that we are only opening up the vaccination for children like in Europe and also in the United States and Israel, we are anticipating that we have to program or we have to prepare for that," Galvez told reporters in an interview.

Once the expert panel gives a go signal and guidelines have been issued, Galvez said the government would start vaccinating those in the said age bracket.

"Once we have already their approval for most vaccines to be used on children and once the DOH makes the guidelines, we will do," he assured.

With the signing of the Pfizer supply deal, Galvez is confident that the country will be able to achieve its targeted 184 million doses of Covid-19 shots before the year ends.

As of June 19, the country has received a total of 14,205,870 doses of shots manufactured by Sinovac, Sputnik, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca both through procurement and donations.

Galvez said Sinovac has already confirmed the delivery of another 1.5 million on June 24, while some 250,000 Moderna doses, including those purchased by the private sector, will arrive on June 27.

This month, 150,000 doses of Sputnik V (component 2) and 2,028,000 AstraZeneca vaccines through COVAX Facility will be shipped.

"We also expect to receive the US donation of vaccines before the end of June," Galvez bared.

Galvez said the government expects to receive 11,670,000 doses in July, consisting of 4.5 million Sinovac shots, and 1 million doses each of Moderna and Sputnik V vaccines. The initial shipment of 1.17 million AstraZeneca doses purchased by the private sector is also set to arrive next month.

The COVAX Facility, meanwhile, is scaling up its deliveries in July with 4 million doses of either AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech. (PNA)