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Vaccination of all minors aged 12 to 17 to begin as early as November 3

The vaccination of all minors aged 12 to 17 years old nationwide against COVID-19 may start as early as November 3, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Wednesday.

“We will open up 'yung (vaccination ng) 12 to 17 years old sa November 3 dahil nakita natin na maganda naman ang naging result ng ating trials at pilot sa hospitals. Nakita natin very minimum 'yung adverse effects,” Galvez said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB.

(We will open up the vaccination of 12 to 17 years old on November 3 because we have seen the good result of the trials and pilot in the hospitals. There were very minimum adverse effects.)

He said they were able to vaccinate more than 14,000 minors with comorbidities.

"Nakapagbakuna na tayo ng more than 14,000, io-open na po natin para wala nang tinatawag nating bottleneck (We were able to inoculate more than 14,000 so we will open it to avoid bottleneck)," he said.

He said the private companies can also start the vaccination of the adolescent dependents of their employees.

"Pwede na po 'yun, just in case sa November 3 pwede na po mag-start. They have to coordinate with the different LGUs...coordinate with the National Vaccination Operation Center para ma-inspect at sa training ," he said.

(That can be done, just in case on November 3 they can start it. They have to coordinate with different LGUs, coordinate with the NVOC for inspection and training.)

Galvez said the Philippines will have around 40 to 50 more hospitals nationwide conduct the pediatric vaccination.

“Magkakaroon na tayo ng more than 50, (There will be) additional 50 hospitals all throughout the Philippines,” he said in a separate interview with CNN Philippines.

In a separate statement, the Department of Health (DOH) said the government will still be using Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for the nationwide rollout.

“Further details and the guidelines with regard to the nationwide expansion of pediatric vaccination will be released once finalized,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

The DOH urged the adult population, especially those belonging to the A2 and A3 priority groups, to get vaccinated against the illness.

On Monday, Galvez said the country is looking to finish the vaccination minors by December this year to protect them from severe COVID-19 infection.

The National Task Force Against COVID-19 said the government is seeking to vaccinate 12.7 million adolescents.

Third, booster dose on Nov 15

In the same dzBB interview, Galvez also said administering the third and booster dose for healthcare workers and immunocompromised will most likely start on November 15.

"'Yung booster sa healthcare workers at saka sa mga (The booster dose for healthcare workers and) immunocompromised most likely November 15," he said.

He said they are just waiting for specific instructions from the regulatory boards, such as the Food and Drug Administration, and World Health Organization.

"We are just waiting for the specific instructions ng FDA at ng WHO kasi meron tayong two options, yung tinatawag na homologous at heterologous, 'yung pwede i-vaccinate ay ibang brand, pwedeng same brand.  So kukuha tayo ng talagang guidance from the regulatory board, FDA, para sure po tayo," he explained.

(We are just waiting for the specific instructions from the FDA and WHO because we have two options: homologous, where the same brand of vaccine will be used, and heterologous, where a different brand of vaccine will be administered. So we need to get guidance from the regulatory board, FDA, so we will be sure.)

The country on Tuesday reported 4,393 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the nationwide tally to 2,765,672 and active cases to 53,642. —KG/AOL, GMA News