Pediatric vaccination to open in 13 more Metro Manila hospitals this week

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 18 2021 02:18 PM | Updated as of Oct 18 2021 03:34 PM

A health worker talks to a child before inoculating with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), during the vaccine rollout for children with comorbidities, in Pasig City on Oct. 15, 2021. Pasig City PIO handout/Reuters
A health worker talks to a child before inoculating with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), during the vaccine rollout for children with comorbidities, in Pasig City on Oct. 15, 2021. Pasig City PIO handout/Reuters

MANILA — The pilot vaccination of minors in Metro Manila will expand to 13 more hospitals later this week, the interior department said on Monday. 

"Sa Biyernes na po magsisimula ang phase 2 ng ating pediatric vaccination pilot dito po sa National Capital Region... Magdaragdag po ng 13 additional local hospitals," said Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya. 

(The phase 2 of our pediatric vaccination pilot in the National Capital Region will start on Friday. We will add 13 local hospitals.)

The pediatric vaccination started last Friday in six hospitals managed by the health department, prioritizing minors with health risks.

The pilot run of the pediatric vaccination aims to cover around 144,000 children aged 15 to 17 until the end of the month, said Malaya. 

Parents or guardians who want to have their children vaccinated need to coordinate with their local government and present valid IDs, the child’s medical certificate, and clearance for vaccination, he said in a televised public briefing. 

Video courtesy of PTV

The Philippines follows many other countries in expanding its immunization drive to minors.

Authorities plan a pilot run of a return to face-to-face classes in up to 120 schools next month.

The Philippines was among 17 countries where schools have been closed for the entirety of the pandemic, according to a September report by the United Nations children's agency UNICEF.

"For me, I'm looking forward to getting back to face-to-face classes in the future," said Gyle Fernandez, 17, one of more than 1,000 children who received their vaccinations on Friday. 

The Philippines has approved 2 vaccine brands for minors.
 
Jacquelyn Dannug, 40, said she wanted her child, 12, to have protection. "It would be difficult as we are often outside and she could possibly get infected if she is not fully vaccinated," said Dannug, standing beside her daughter.

The government last Saturday further relaxed coronavirus restrictions in Metro Manila, home to around 13.5 million people.

The Philippines has so far vaccinated about 24.3 million of its 109 million population.

Its total confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 2,720,368 on Sunday, of which 81,641 or 3 percent are active.

— With a report from Reuters