Funding obtained for kids’ Covid-19 vaccinations

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ENOUGH funds have been secured to inoculate children aged 5 to 11 against Covid-19, the Finance department announced on Thursday, with vaccinations expected to begin today, February 4.

An additional $800 million in funding will be used to purchase Covid-19 boosters and vaccination doses for children under the age of 12, it said in a statement.

The amount will supplement current funding for pediatric shots and allow for the delivery of 30 million doses of Pfizer vaccines to children aged 5 to 11, Finance Undersecretary Mark Dennis Joven said.

“For children, basically, we need to use new formulation and only one brand provides this new formulation, it’s Pfizer,” Joven was quoted as saying.

“[F]rom the previous loan, we’ve taken around 15 million doses for this Pfizer new formulation. And from the new loan, we’re taking around 15 million doses … So that gives us 30 million doses of Pfizer new formulation for those below 12 years old,” he added.

A total of $22.55 billion (about P1.14 trillion) has been raised through the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Agence Française de Développement, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Korean Export-Import Bank–Economic Development Cooperation Fund, and foreign currency denominated global banks, the Finance department said.

It added that $3.25 billion (about P165.88 billion) in grants and loans had been committed in support of various programs to be implemented by entities involved in the country’s Covid-19 response.

Joven also said that 216 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines for adults had been distributed to date. The volume was said to be more than enough to properly vaccinate the country’s whole adult population.

As of February 1, 59.12 million Filipinos, comprising adults and minors between the ages of 12 and 17, have already been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, the Finance department said.



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