There is no recommendation yet from the Department of Health (DOH) regarding the vaccination of individuals 12 to 17 years old against COVID-19, Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Monday.
Interviewed on Unang Balita, Vergeire said experts are still studying the possibility of vaccinating minors against the disease, particularly regarding safety and equity.
"Sa ngayon ay hindi pa natin nabibigyan ng rekomendasyon itong pagbabakuna sa mga kabataan natin, patuloy pa rin hong pinag-aaralan ng ating mga eksperto itong pagbabakuna sa mga bata," said Vergeire, who is also the DOH's spokesperson.
"Unang-una, tinitignan po nila yung safety side at pangalawa tinitignan nila yung equity side," she added.
(We still can't recommend vaccination of minors as it is still being studied by our experts, who are looking into the safety side as well as the equity side of it.)
Vergeire pointed out that though minors can still contract the disease, the risk of severe infection and death is still more common with adults.
"Ngayon na unstable pa rin ang supply natin [ng bakuna], gusto natin na pagtuunan muna ng pansin 'yung mga mas nakatatanda na may vulnerability to severity and dying," she said.
(Since our vaccine supply is still unstable we like to give priority to adults whose risk of severe infection and death is higher.)
On Sunday, DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said that "as a general policy," the government's panel of experts has approved COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 12 to 17 years.
"Inaayos pa ang polisiya at guidelines. Dapat umpisahan ang pagbabakuna sa mga batang may comorbidities [Guidelines and policies are being set. Those with comorbidities must be the priority]," she said on Dobol B TV. --KBK, GMA News