PEDIATRIC VACCINATION. A young female vaccinee receives her protection against the coronavirus at the capitol compound of Batangas City on Tuesday (Dec. 14, 2021). Booster shots for front-liners and the immunocompromised sector were also administered. (Photo courtesy of Batangas-PIO)

MANILA – More than seven million Filipino children aged 12 to 17 have received at least one shot of the coronavirus vaccine while 2.1 million are fully vaccinated.

In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night, National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., cited that pediatric vaccination is crucial to the opening of the economy and the resumption of face-to-face classes.

"Ito po nakita po natin talaga na gustong-gusto na po ng mga kabataan at saka ng kanilang mga magulang na mabakunahan na po ang ating mga (We see that these children and their parents favor the vaccination of our) minors so that they can start already the face-to-face program," Galvez said.

"Parang nakita po natin talaga na ‘yung ating mga kabataan gusto na po ring makalabas (We see that these children really want to go out)," he added.

Galvez also cited that about 60 to 80 percent of the vaccine recipients in the first phase of the three-day national vaccination drive “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” were children.

The second phase on Wednesday to Friday aims to fully vaccinate first-dose recipients from all sectors.

The 2021 Philippine Projected Population data of the Philippine Statistics Authority showed there are 12,722,070 Filipinos aged 12 to 17.

"We are very confident that 54 million Filipinos will be completing the second dose this yearend," Galvez said.

The National Covid-19 vaccination dashboard showed the Philippines has already administered 97,237,440 doses nationwide -- 54,914,819 as first doses, 41,513,071 for full vaccination, and 809,550 booster or additional doses. (PNA)