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Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez said an additional P25 billion budget may be needed to include children aged 12 and above in the country’s vaccination program.
In a Senate hearing, Dominguez was asked for an update on the status of the government’s P88.6 billion allocation for COVID-19 vaccines. The budget is allotted to purchase 148 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, enough to cover 70 million Filipinos. However, it does take into account children ages 12 to 15 years old.
“We might need an allocation of about P25 billion to cover the inoculation of children aged 12 years old and above,” the finance chief said.
According to Dominguez, the P25-billion budget will cover about 15 million minors in the country. This is based on the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which is the only brand authorized for use of children. The number may change if the government permits the use of other vaccine brands for the younger population.
The finance secretary also noted that another P60 billion is needed to procure booster shots for 85 million Filipinos. Dominguez said that the amount is proposed to be included in the 2022 budget.