Galvez: Children can be vaccinated with Pfizer by 2nd half of 2021

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 22) – Children in the country may soon get vaccinated in the second half of the year with the Philippine government's procurement of at least 40 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. raised the possibility to President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, since the majority of the American-made vaccine shots will arrive during the third and fourth quarter of 2021.

"Maganda po ito baka magamit natin sa mga children, kasi majority of this volume will be given during the third and fourth quarter. Lalo na ‘pag fourth quarter, when we open up ‘yung vaccination natin," said Galvez.

[Translation: This is great because we can use them to inoculate the children, because majority of this volume will be given during the third and fourth quarter. Especially in the fourth quarter, when we will open up our vaccination.]

The Philippine government signed last June 20 a supply agreement for the 40 million doses of Pfizer vaccines, the biggest vaccine procurement for 2021. 

Last June 8, the Philippine Food and Drug Administration approved the emergency use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines for minors aged 12 to 15. Earlier, the FDA only authorized Pfizer shots to be given to persons 16 years old and above. 

The approval comes after the United States Food and Drug Administration also allowed the emergency use of the vaccine brand to the same age bracket.

The Philippines has received a total of over 2.3 million Pfizer vaccine doses from the World Health Organization-led COVAX initiative, with the latest shipment last June 11 being the largest so far with 2.2 million doses.