MANILA (UPDATE) — COVID-19 vaccination for minors will be conducted at 6 pilot hospitals in Metro Manila starting next week, officials said Monday, as the Philippines geared up for expanding its vaccination drive.
The "phased" pediatric vaccination from Oct. 15 will prioritize 15 to 17-year-olds with comorbidities, followed by 12 to 14-year-olds, said vaccine "czar" Carlito Galvez Jr.
The 6 pilot sites for the inoculation of this age group include the following, he said in a press briefing.
- Philippines Children's Medical Center
- National Children's Hospital
- Philippine Heart Center
- Pasig City Children's Hospital
- Fe Del Mundo Medical Center
- Philippine General Hospital
"Kung magkaroon man ng mga adverse event following immunization, at least nasa loob na po ng mga ospital at mabilis na matugunan kung magkaroon man ng emergency," said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
(If ever there will be adverse events following immunization, at least they are already at hospitals and we can immediately respond to any emergency.)
After 14 days, the pediatric vaccination will expand to 6 areas including Manila, Pasig, Taguig, Makati, Quezon City, and Mandaluyong, Galvez said.
The campaign will further expand to the whole Metro Manila after 30 days, he said.
Children should secure consent from their doctors and parents, said Malacañang spokesman Harry Roque.
"The mayors are now preparing for this... 'Yong preregistration ay matagal na nilang ginagawa, it's just a matter of identifying those who have comorbidities and those in the lists," said Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos.
(They have long been doing the preregistration.)
Galvez said the government will allocate 60 million doses of vaccines for for the 12 to 17 years age group, which has a total population of around 26 to 29 million.
He also said that based on initial tally, there are about 12.7 million Filipinos within the 12 to 17 years age group who are qualified for inoculation.