COVID-19 vaccination of kids aged 5 to 11 to be launched at 37 sites

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 28 2022 07:06 PM

MANILA - The Department of Health said on Friday that the pilot rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations for kids aged 5 to 11 years old will be done at 37 sites across Metro Manila. 

Three of these sites are hospitals under the DOH: the National Children's Hospital, the Philippine Children's Medical Center, and the Philippine Heart Center. Meanwhile, there are two sites in every Metro Manila LGU dedicated to vaccinating 5 to 11 year-olds against COVID-19. 

The country is set to begin giving jabs to the age group on February 4, 2022. 

According to DOH-NCR Director Gloria Balboa, the pilot COVID-19 vaccination is open to all children aged 5 to 11 years old, whether they have comorbidities or not. 

“Open for all na, mixed na ‘yan, kasi may experience naman na tayo previously doon sa 12 to 17 (years old). So nakita naman natin na even may comorbidities e wala naman halos side effect. But just the same we have to make sure. Kaya hindi pa lahat ng vaccination sites, kasi kailangan ‘yung napili nating vaccination site ay talagang preparado siya to respond to any untoward incident,” Balboa said. 

(It's open for all, it's all mixed because we had experience from vaccinating 12 to 17 year-olds. We saw that even if they had comorbidities or not, there were almost no side effects. But just the same, we have to make sure. That's why we're not doing this at all vaccination sites, because we need to make sure that the chosen sites are really prepared to respond to any untoward incident.) 

“Most of them ay dati na ring vaccination site, kaya kabisado na nila. Syempre dati na ring vaccinators,” she added. 

(Most of the sites were already used for vaccination, so they've memorized what to do. Of course they were already vaccinators back then.) 

Balboa said it is important for the children to have a parent or guardian with them at the site. If the child has a comorbidity or is ill, a medical clearance has to be provided. 

“Preferably yung DOH format kasi andun lahat yung information na kailangan natin, pero kung hindi nagamit yun, at andun lahat ang impormasyon, pwede rin yun, kasi andun na sila. Lalo kung galing sa malalayong lugar,” Balboa said.

(Preferably it should be written in the DOH format since all the information we need will be in there. But if that wasn't used and all the information is still there, then we'll accept it. Especially if the child comes from a faraway place.) 

She also recommended to have the children pre-registered before getting vaccinated to avoid the rush of people who also want to get a jab. 

Balboa said many have registered for the vaccinations in Metro Manila. But it is important to strengthen the information campaign in schools to encourage more parents and children to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Around 1.7 million children in Metro Manila are in the 5 to 11 year-old age group. 

“We need to intensify our advocacy, our info campaign. The Department of Education, DepEd, will really be playing ang important role dito. Kasi ito ‘yung school children talaga,” she said.

(The Department of Education will really be playing the important role here because these are school children.) 

- With a report by Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News. 

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