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Gatchalian to LGU’s: Prepare for COVID-19 vaccine rollout to minors

Gatchalian to LGU’s: Prepare for COVID-19 vaccine rollout to minors

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian pressed the urgency of preparing local government units (LGUs) for the vaccination of the age group.

This is after the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of drugmaker Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for inoculating 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.

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.

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

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

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

“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.