The Philippines on Monday launched its Covid-19 vaccination program for kids aged five to 11.

The rollout of Covid-19 vaccines for the age group was supposed to start on Feb. 4 but was delayed due to the late arrival of the Pfizer-BioNTech jabs.

Only the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine has been approved by the local Food and Drug Administration for kids in the age group.

Only six Metro Manila sites are hosting the vaccination of the age group as of Feb. 7: the Philippine Heart Center, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, National Children’s Hospital, Manila Zoo, SM North Edsa (Skydome and the Filoil Gym in San Juan City.

The Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP)earlier stressed that the Covid-19 vaccines reformulated for kids were safe.

“Let us be clear and unequivocal: Covid-19 disease directly affects children and may lead to serious consequences. Children five to 11 years of age are at risk of severe illness from Covid-19,” the groups said in a joint statement.

The country has administered more than 128 million Covid-19 vaccine doses as of Feb. 4. Nearly six million Filipinos have completed their vaccinations against the disease. John Ezekiel J. Hirro