MANILA – The Department of Health said Monday children aged to 12 to 17 with any of 11 comorbidities it cited would be prioritized in the government’s pilot implementation of pediatric vaccination.
Health Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines released a list of conditions including autoimmune disorders, neurologic conditions, metabolic and endocrine conditions among others.
“Cardiovascular diseases, obesity is included, HIV infection in the young, tuberculosis, chronic respiratory disease, renal disorders and hepato-billary disorders. Ito yung labing-isa na pinalabas ng (These are the 11 comorbidities cited by the) Philippine Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society,” she said.
Those with comorbidities will be part of priority group A3. The DOH earlier underscored the need for a carefully planned rollout of vaccines for children especially since contracting severe forms of the disease are significantly lower for healthy children.
While vaccinations for children will be done in hospitals, Vergeire said there is no change in the process of registration. Parents will still have to register their children through their local governments.
The DOH notes that aside from comorbidities, other prerequisites would have to be presented prior a child’s vaccination.
“Kailangan may clearance ng doctor ang mga kabataan na babakunahan with comorbidities. Kailangan may informed consent at assent. Ibig sabihin ang kanilang magulang ay kailangan magbigay ng consent, pipirma sila sa dokumento at yung bata ay may assent para rito," she said.
(Children with comorbidities need clearance from their doctor. They should also have informed consent and assent. This means their parents must give consent and children will give their assent.)
"Pangatlo, kelangan monitoring ng mga kabataan. That’s why we are doing this as an initial pilot sa mga ospital para mas maayos ang proseso at mas mamonitor natin ng mas maigi."
(We also need to monitor them. That’s why we are doing this as an initial pilot in hospitals so we can monitor them well.)
Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines will be used for children as these are the only vaccines granted an emergency use authorization for younger age groups.
Vergeire declined to name the hospitals involved in the pilot implementation of pediatric vaccination saying that an agreement has to be in place before she can make an announcement.
Even as vaccination opens up to more of the population, the DOH continues to urge adults to receive the jab especially among the elderly.