File photo: Children on their way to school for afternoon classes in the Philippines pre-COVID. The Duterte government aims to inoculate children against COVID-19 in the first quarter of 2022. Image Credit: AFP

Manila: Minors from five to 11 years old may get their COVID-19 jabs by January 2022, according to a senior government official.

Carlito Galvez Jr., known as the government's "vaccine czar", said the decision depends on whether on not the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would grant by December an emergency-use approval to vaccines for the use by the young ones.

"Our plan is, once the EUA is issued, we will immediately start vaccinating children below 12 years old. We plan to do it by the 1st quarter of 2022 so we will start in January and we want to finish that immediately in the 1st quarter," Galvez told loca media in Tagalog language.

The official said they seek to complete inoculating children against COVID-19 in the first quarter of 2022.

"We plan to finish this immediately so classes would be able to reopen and we could protect our children against Omicron. We don’t know yet the possibilities, the vulnerabilities of the children with this variant,” he added.

The Philippines so far is inoculating minors aged 12 to 17 years.

to coincide with the planned reopening of classes and to combat the threat of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron.Acco FDA Director General Eric Domingo earlier said

COVID-19 vaccines for children below 12 years old may be available before end-2021, said Philippines FDA Director General Eric Domingo. A number of vaccine makers, such as Pfizer and Sinovac, have expressed their intent to apply for an EUA to use their vaccines to kids under 12.