Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said that teenagers are not included in the rollout of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines due to global vaccine shortage.

“Dahil kulang pa ang bakuna at hindi naman sila kabilang doon sa tinatawag natin na high-risk group, hindi muna natin sila pwedeng isama sa ngayon,” Duque said during a virtual briefing.

The health chief said senior citizens and people with comorbidities are prioritized to receive the vaccine. 

“‘Yan ang kinakailangan talagang isulong natin dahil diyan po galing ang mga naoospital na talagang sila po ang nabibiktima ng nakamamatay na komplikasyon ng Covid-19 infection,” he explained.

Even though teenagers are not included in the priority group, Duque shared that the government’s vaccine expert panel has been looking at using Pfizer to the said age group.

The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to use Pfizer on children aged 12 to 15 “within the week.”

Experts have given “very favorable” recommendations on the use of the Pfizer shot on children 12 to 15 years old, according to FDA chief Eric Domingo. Ronald Espartinez