Expanded pediatric vaccination to encourage more economic activity

The vaccination of children aged five to eleven years old will encourage more economic activity, protect families, and support the resumption of face-to-face schooling, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

“More than thirty percent of our population is below eighteen [years old], so the sooner we vaccinate them, the more economic activities will follow,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said during the launch of San Juan City’s Resbakuna Kids COVID-19 vaccination for 5- to 11-year-olds on February 7, 2022 at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

In his message of support, the NEDA chief also emphasized that the roll-out of the pediatric vaccination program is important to ensure children’s safety in returning to face-to-face schooling. At the same time, it will also enable families to have additional protection when they go out.

“All babies are already being vaccinated for various diseases like measles and chickenpox. So this is just another one of the many [vaccines] that kids should start to get,” he said.

Chua, whose six-year-old son also got his first dose during the launch, encouraged parents to get their children registered in the vaccination program as soon as they can.

“This [vaccine] is life-saving and a way for [my son] to get back to school soon. This is how everyone, kids or adults, will get back to some normal life,” Chua said.

With the inoculation drive being expanded to cover a broader eligible population, the government assures the public that there is enough supply of vaccines to inoculate the pediatric population.

The Department of Finance and the Department of Budget and Management have already secured funding for more booster shots, along with vaccine doses for children below aged 5 to 11. There are around 15.6 million children in the 5 to 11 age group.

Also present in the launch were Presidential Adviser for COVID-19 Response Vince Dizon, Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, Department of Health Assistant Regional Director Dr. Aleli Sudiacal, and San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora.