Nationwide COVID-19 vaccination for minors aged 12-17 to start Nov 3

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 27) — Nationwide COVID-19 vaccination for all minors aged 12 to 17 will start as early as next Wednesday, November 3, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. told CNN Philippines on Wednesday.

Galvez told The Source they will open on October 29 pediatric vaccination in up to 50 more hospitals nationwide in addition to the 28 already providing shots for minors. He said all regions will take part in the expanded vaccination drive.

"Magsisisimula po tayo, I (initially) announced November 5 but NVOC just informed me that we could start as early as November 3 nationwide kasi magkakaroon na tayo ng additional 50 hospitals from all throughout the Philippines," Galvez said.

[Translation: We will start, I initially announced November 5 but the National Vaccines Operation Center just informed me that we could start as early as November 3 nationwide because we will have an additional 50 hospitals from all throughout the Philippines.]

The Department of Health confirmed the announcement, noting that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will still be used among children during 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 in a statement.

The government is currently on the second phase of its COVID-19 vaccination program for minors aged 12-17 with comorbidities in Metro Manila, after it launched its pilot run in select hospitals on October 15.

Galvez said with the expanded inoculation, the government will hopefully meet its target of administering 1.5 million shots per day by November 15.

Metro Manila Development Authority chair Benhur Abalos said mayors in the capital region are ready to implement the expanded rollout next week.

The Philippine Statistics Authority said as of 2021 there are around 12.7 million children aged 12 to 17 in the country. As of October 26, 18,666 minors with comorbidities received their first COVID-19 shot.