(PNA photo by Joey Razon)

MANILA – The Philippines has so far vaccinated around 329,000 children aged 5 to 11 years old against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Friday.

In a Palace briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said of the total number, only eight experienced adverse effects following immunization, which include rashes in the extremities, itchy throat, vomiting, and pain in the site with chills.

“Sa humigit kumulang na 329,000 nating nabakunahan, walo pa lamang po ang naitala nating non-serious adverse event. Normal po na bahagyang tumaas ang kanilang blood pressure, ‘yung iba nagkalagnat, ‘yung iba nag-chills (Of the 329,000 children that were vaccinated, only 8 have been reported to experience non-serious adverse events. It is normal for them to have higher blood pressure. Others had fever, or chills)," Vergeire said.

She said the DOH is ensuring that the health workers in vaccination sites are prepared to respond to any adverse event that children may experience.

She also gave assurance that the Covid-19 vaccines administered are safe and effective.

To date, the Pfizer vaccine is being used for pediatric vaccination as it is the only jab that has received emergency use approval for kids aged 5 to 11 years old from the Philippines' FDA.

The Pfizer vaccine for children has a lower dosage and lower concentration than those given to minors aged 12 to 17, who started receiving their jabs in October 2021.

The government is eyeing to vaccinate more than 39.41 million children aged zero to 17 years old, of which 12.74 million are aged 12 to 17 years old, 15.56 million are 5 to 11 years old, and 11.11 million of zero to 4 years old. (PNA)