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READY LGUS FOR COVID VAX ROLLOUT FOR MINORS

Following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for inoculating minors aged 12-17, Senator Win Gatchalian pressed the urgency of preparing local government units (LGUs) for the vaccination of the age group.

Citing both the safety of the younger population and the long-term impact of school closures, Gatchalian has lobbied for the vaccination of minors aged 12-17.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture said that vaccinating school age children would lay down a clearer path on the gradual resumption of face-to-face classes.

A Pulse Asia Survey commissioned by the veteran legislator – which was conducted from June 7-16 and had 1,200 respondents – revealed that nationwide, agreement to allow face-to-face classes are at 44%, 33% were unsure, and 23% disagree.

Among those who disagree with face-to-face classes, 90% said that it is still too dangerous to go out because of the pandemic, while 57% cited the lack of vaccines for children.

β€œOne of the solutions to open our schools safely is to already inoculate our teenagers.”

“At this point, I can see that one of the solutions to open our schools safely is to already inoculate our teenagers,” the seasoned lawmaker noted.

With the government eyeing to vaccinate minors by September or October this year, preparations should already start at the level of LGUs, the senator said.

He also cited the crucial involvement of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of Education (DepEd).

“My call is to allow LGUs and private schools to import their own vaccines to hasten the rollout.”

“My call is to allow LGUs and private schools to import their own vaccines and to inoculate their own teachers, their own school officials, as well as their own students and their own teenage population. This way, it will hasten the vaccine rollout in our schools and the LGUs,” Gatchalian said.

The FDA previously approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the inoculation of minors aged 12-15.

 Drugmaker Sinovac also applied for the authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine for children and minors aged 3-17.

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