People line up in Quezon City to get free swab tests from the Swab Cab program of the Office of the Vice President, in collaboration with the local government of Quezon City.  As of 1.20pm today, out of 410 people swabbed, 191 tested positive. That’s more than 46% positivity rate so far. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Jan 6 (Mabuhay) — The government is fast-tracking the delivery of the “minimized microgram” Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccines for children aged five to 11 years old, National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said Wednesday.

Speaking at President Rodrigo Duterte’s prerecorded Talk to the People, Galvez said he will be talking to Philippine Ambassador to the United States of America Jose “Babe” Romualdez to discuss the fast-tracking of the particular Pfizer doses for the kids to start giving them the protection against the dreaded disease.

“And ipu-pursue natin ang (We will pursue the) vaccination of children from 5 to 11 years old when they especially when the formulated vaccine — have been — will arrive,” said Galvez, also the country’s vaccine czar.

The National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) earlier said the exact vaccination schedule of this age group will be announced as soon as Covid-19 vaccines suitable for them and its appropriate syringes become available.

At least 13.5 million children under this age bracket are expected to receive a lower dosage of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, Galvez noted the need to intensify the vaccination capacities of the local government units (LGUs) to sustain the Covid-19 vaccination program, as the national and local election is nearing.

“Our LGUs should remain focused on making the vaccines available to different barangays and cities and maintain their mega sites,” he said.

The LGUs are encouraged to establish mobile vaccination teams in each barangay, he added, citing a similar vaccination strategy being done in General Santos City.

Galvez noted the LGUs should maintain the accessible integrity of the vaccination information system, including the provisions of vaccination cards, travel authority among others.

The vaccine czar emphasized that addressing the “unwillingness of others to get vaccinated and get their boosters” remains the main problem of the government.

Galvez, however, said the Department of Health (DOH) in partnership with the private sector are now doing their best to increase public uptake.

“And we were successful in increasing the uptake during our national vaccination series with the massing up of people in the different vaccination sites. We intend to repeat the successful vaccination days. This time it will be focused on our seniors and also focused on the,” he added. (MNS)

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