Amid the observance of World Immunization Week 2022, Senator Win Gatchalian is urging the government to accelerate the vaccination of children aged 5 to 11.
The lawmaker cited the urgency to ensure high COVID-19 vaccination coverage among children aged 5 to 11, noting that only 18.59% of children aged 5 to 11 have received their first dose of the vaccine as of April 17. This is equivalent to more than 2.6 million vaccinated children in the age group.
To accelerate COVID-19 vaccination on the pediatric population, the lawmaker called on the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), and the Department of Education (DepEd) to ramp up efforts in promoting COVID-19 vaccination in schools.
For Gatchalian, the government should ensure that at least 70% of children aged 5 to 11 are already vaccinated in time for the opening of School Year 2022-2023. The DepEd eyes the opening of classes on August 22. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture also said that ensuring high vaccination coverage in the pediatric population is crucial in further expanding face-to-face classes nationwide.
The NTF earlier said that it targets to vaccinate 15.56 million children aged 5 to 11. The DepEd also reported earlier this year that some 14 million learners in the said age group are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. In the 12-17 age group, 86.51% already received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is equivalent to more than 9.9 million minors.
“Habang patuloy ang pagsisikap nating paramihin ang mga paaralang lumalahok sa limited face-to-face classes, dapat paigtingin din natin ang pagbabakuna kontra COVID-19 para sa mga kabataang may edad na 5 hanggang 11. Kung mababakunahan natin ang mas maraming kabataan laban sa COVID-19, mas matitiyak natin ang kanilang kaligtasan kung makalahok na sila sa face-to-face classes,” said Gatchalian.