Vaccines arrived on Friday
The first batch of Pfizer BioNTech vaccine doses reformulated for kids ages 5 to 11 arrived on Friday, February 5. The shipment was delayed by a day and arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport onboard Air Hong Kong. There were 780,000 pediatric doses acquired by the government through the World Bank.
US embassy charge d’affaires Heather Variava was at the airport when the vaccines landed. “This will make such a difference in the lives of all families in the Philippines,” she told reporters. “It will allow children to eventually get back to face-to-face learning, allow them to play with their friends and do important socializing,”
Pediatric vaccination was supposed to commence on February 4. Logistical challenges caused the delay. The DOH explained that the postponement occurred to ensure adequate preparation and distribution of the Pfizer vaccines.
Opposition to pediatric vaccination
Two parents vehemently opposed the pediatric vaccination last week. Former news reporter Dominic Almelor and Girlie Samonte asked the Quezon City Regional Trial Court to stop the vaccination. They contested a clause in the DOH rule that gives the government the power to give consent to a willing minor.