The Philippines is looking to vaccinate Filipinos aged five to 11 starting January 2022, the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 said.

During the arrival of 1,230,800 private sector-procured Moderna doses on Wednesday night, NTF consultant Francel Taborlupa said the vaccination of the age group was targeted for mid-January.

“Early next year, we’re targeting to vaccinate around 77 million before elections. ‘Yun po talaga ang gusto natin and over and above that, we are also targeting to vaccinate the 5 to 11 year olds by around mid-January,” Taborlupa said.

The NTF consultant urged unvaccinated Filipinos to get Covid-19 vaccines amid the threat of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

“‘Wag po natin isantabi ang Omicron virus. It’s very alarming that in just a couple of days, tumaas nang tumaas ang positivity rate natin. So ibig sabihin po, meron pang effect ‘yung paglabas natin,” Taborlupa said.

So far, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been approved by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration for kids aged five to 11.

The government had been eyeing to expand vaccination to younger age groups to help the country achieve herd immunity.

The country has received 210,023,540 Covid-19 vaccine doses since February 2020.

Over 48 million have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. John Ezekiel J. Hirro