DOH eyes expanding pediatric vaccinations to areas outside NCR after 2 weeks
MANILA— A total of 1,013 teens with health risks were vaccinated against COVID-19 on Friday, the health department said, as the government expanded its inoculation program to the sector.
The Department of Health (DOH) said the bulk of newly-immunized children were vaccinated at the Philippine Heart Center, Makati Medical Center, St. Luke's Medical Center - Global City, and the Pasig City Children's Hospital.
The pilot vaccination of individuals with comorbidities aged 12 to 17 also commenced at the Philippine General Hospital, Philippines Children's Medical Center, National Children's Hospital, and the Fe Del Mundo Medical Center.
Each hospital has an allocation of 1,170 doses, Dr. Gloria Balboa, Director of the NCR Center for Health Development earlier said.
In a statement, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said they would continue monitoring vaccinations for the said sector.
“Sa ating pagbibigay proteksyon sa mga kabataang ito, atin ring mapoproteksyonan ang kanilang mga mahal sa buhay. Sa ating mga magulang at mga kabataan, kayo ay aming hinihikayat na makilahok sa pagbabakunang ito," Duque said.
(This vaccine will not only protect these children, but also their loved ones. We are urging the people eligible for vaccination to get immunized.)
"Katuwang ng ating mga eksperto, doktor, at mga pediatricians, makakaasa kayong patuloy naming babantayan ang pagbabakunang ito,” he added.
(This vaccination is in partnership with experts, doctors, and pediatricians. We will monitor these vaccinations.)
The DOH estimated that some 1.2 million teens have comorbidities in the country and are eligible for vaccination.
DOH: PEDIATRIC VACCINATIONS TO EXPAND IN OTHER AREAS
Pediatric vaccinations will be expanded to other regions outside Metro Manila "where there is more than 50% coverage" for the sector of the elderly, the DOH said.
This would also be possible after a 2-week pilot implementation in the region, Balboa said in a public briefing.
"Tingnan po natin after itong two weeks na ito kasi after po ng two weeks kasi dito nga sa NCR ang pilot io-open na po sa mga ibang rehiyon iyong mga naka-meet naman ng 50 percent nang nabakunahan sa mga senior citizens nila," the official explained.
(We will look at this possibility after 2 weeks because after that period, we will open it to other regions that have met the 50 percent target for senior citizens.)
"Kasi siyempre may mga priority pa rin ho tayo, itong ating mga senior citizens, may mga ibang adults na may comorbidities,” she said.
“So, titingnan po natin as we go along kung mai-open na doon sa general na walang comorbidities.”
(We still have priorities, our senior citizens and adults who have comorbidities so we would look at the possibility of opening it to the other children.)
Balboa also pointed out that the vaccine rollout for children will expand to at least one hospital for every local government unit in Metro Manila by next week.
“Tapos, next week naman ay mayroon tayo dito sa Metro Manila na one per LGU na hospital and mayroon din na ibang private hospital na nag-volunteer din, so isasama na rin po natin iyan but just the same comorbidities din po itong mga batang ito,” Balboa explained.
(Next week, we'll expand this to Metro Manila, one hospital per LGU and we have other private hospitals who volunteered. We would include that.)
Balboa added that health authorities are set to begin inspection of chosen hospitals in Metro Manila to ensure their compliance to health protocols and check their cold chain management facilities.
The Philippines has fully vaccinated some 23.54 million out of its target 77 million, while nearly 27 million have received their first dose as of Thursday, according to government data.
— with reports from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News