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DOH: Not yet time to start vaccinating children

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Monday said further studies are needed before COVID-19 vaccine will be administered to children.

For now, the Department of Health (DOH) will retain the policy to delay the inoculation of kids and teenagers in the country.

In a weekly Talk to the People, Duque said there needs to be more study on the safety of vaccines for children.

"Kinakailangan ng mas masusing pag-aaral ng safety ng pagbabakuna sa mga bata lalo na sa mga immunocompromised," Duque told President Rodrigo Duterte and fellow Cabinet members.

With the limited supplies, Duque said the target eligible population or those aged 18 years old and above must be prioritized in the vaccination.

"Ang bakuna sa matatanda ay nakabubuti sa kabataan... Hanggang kulang ang supplies, iminumungkahi natin na unahin muna ang nakatatanda," said Duque.

The health chief also said they are "considering vaccination to children who have comorbidities" once the supply stabilizes.

For now, the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Pfizer's application for using its vaccine to those aged 12 to 17 years old.

FDA Director General Eric Domingo said earlier that the Philippines will need to inoculate an additional 12 to 14 million people if the government will include children in its target population..  -- BAP, GMA News