Initial vaccine rollout for 5-11 age group in NCR on Feb. 4-5 to be held in 24 sites

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 27 2022 10:00 PM

A health worker inspects  ABS-CBN News
A health worker inspects the blood pressure of minors who just received their 2nd dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at the Ospital ng Tondo in Manila on December 4, 2021 with the hospital accommodating both minors and adults scheduled for booster shots as the city continues its vaccination for residents. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Galvez: Draft guidelines for children's vaccination out 'within the week'

MANILA - February 4 and 5 will be the "dedicated vaccination days" for children aged 5 to 11 in Metro Manila, with several facilities participating as pilot sites, the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 said Thursday.

In a statement, vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr. said 24 hospital and non-hospital settings in the capital region were already designated as inoculation sites. He did not specify them.

Authorities will announce the "draft policy" for the vaccination of the sector "within the week," according to Galvez. The Philippines is expecting the arrival of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines intended for 5- to 11-year-olds on Feb. 2, he said.

"Ang gagawin po natin, magde-designate tayo ng hospital at non-hospital based sa each city sa Metro Manila. Kaya magkakaroon tayo ng more or less 24 vaccination sites,” the official said.

(We will designate hospital and non-hospital facilities based in Metro Manila. So we will have at least 24 vaccination sites.) 

Galvez said a medical group is clamoring that vaccination days for this group of minors should fall on weekends when parents would be less busy and have time to accompany their children.

“Gusto nga po ng PMA (Philippine Medical Association) na mailagay itong parang vaccination days during weekend kasi nakikita nilang ‘yung mga nanay at tatay ay nagta-trabaho [tuwing weekdays]," he said. 

"More or less February 4 or 5 ang ating vaccination [days] para sa 5-11 years old,” he added.

While the pilot rollout for the sector's vaccination is set in Metro Manila, other regions could also request holding it simultaneously on the same dates. 

He mentioned though that the implementation would still be phased, like the other rollouts. 

The Phase 1 of the vaccination rollout will be made in two vaccination sites per city in Metro Manila, while the second phase would include the pilot rollout in other regions.

“‘Yung Region 3 and 4, umaapela na gusto nang sumabay [sa NCR] dahil malaki na ang experience natin sa children vaccination, sa 12-17 [years old].” 

(Regions 3 and 4 have appealed to join Metro Manila as they already have an experience in children vaccination, particularly among the 12-17 age group.)

“Ang gusto natin talaga ay magkaroon ito ng phasing at sequence dahil alam natin na ang sektor na ito ay napaka-importante at very sensitive talaga. At considering na first time nating makatanggap ng children formulation ay talagang titingnan nating safe at effective talaga ‘yung pagbabakuna,” Galvez said. 

(We want this to be phased and sequenced because this sector is very sensitive. And considering that it's our first time to receive vaccines formulated for children, we really want to see that the inoculation will be safe and effective.)

There are some 13.5 million children aged 5 to 11 in the country, the Department of Health earlier said. 

As of Jan. 26, the Philippines has fully vaccinated 58.1 million people, of whom nearly 7 million have been boosted. 

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