The Philippines is looking to vaccinate 20 million children against Covid-19 once its government approves pediatric vaccination, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Monday.

Once pediatric vaccination commences, Galvez said those aged 12 to 17 would be prioritized.

“We talked to the Philippine Medical Association, including the head of the Pediatric Society, and they recommended to finish all the 18 and above adults first, then we can proceed with 17 and below. We will begin with adolescents aged 12 to 17,” Galvez said. as he welcomed the arrival of two million Sinovac doses on Saturday.

Expanding the age group eligible for vaccination would help the country reach herd immunity, Galvez said.

“We only have 70 million population for 18 and above and if we want to upgrade the scale of the herd immunity, we need to vaccinate more or less 20 million from the adolescents and pediatrics,” Galvez said.

The Philippines has received 56,794,130 doses to date. It has fully vaccinated over 16.7 million Filipinos.

Local drug regulators have approved the use of the two Covid-19 vaccine brands for Filipinos aged 12 to 17: Pfizer and Moderna from the US.

The Food and Drug Administration earlier said that vaccinating children would help the country battle the highly infectious Delta variant. John Ezekiel J. Hirro