Gov't adviser backs mobility restrictions on kids below 12


Posted at Nov 24 2021 02:40 PM

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A government adviser on Wednesday backed calls to regulate the entry in malls of children below 12 years old who have yet to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Dr. Ted Herbosa, special adviser to the National Task Force Against COVID-19, noted the Philippines has yet to approve a vaccine for this age group. 

Some children who catch COVID-19 may suffer from multi-organ syndrome and long-term effects of the novel coronavirus that could weaken their heart and lungs, he said. 

"Kung ako ang tatanungin, payag akong i-restrict o i-regulate ang pagpasok ng maliliit na bata 11 and below sa ating mga mall for leisure, unless may talagang kailangan," Herbosa said in a televised public briefing. 

(If I am the one asked, I am in favor of restricting or regulating the entry of young children aged 11 and below in our malls for leisure, unless they need to do something there.) 

If it is necessary for kids to be at malls, they should be there only for a short while and wear antivirus masks, he said. 

"Remember kahit vaccinated, puwede kang maging carrier, wala kang sintomas pero may dala kang virus doon sa iyong nasal pharynges. Puwede talagang mahawa iyong mga bata, theoretically, na lumabas sa mga mall," Herbosa said. 

(Remember even if you are vaccinated, you can still be a carrier, you might not have symptoms but you could still have the virus in your nasal pharynges. Kids who go to malls can be theoretically infected.) 

He suggested bringing kids instead to parks, open areas, or small gatherings of vaccinated relatives. 

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday said it might approve COVID-19 vaccines for 5- to 11-year-olds before the year ends. 

The Philippines in mid-October started inoculating 12- to 17-year-olds against the novel coronavirus. 

Adverse effects among children are "very, very low" at less than 1 percent. Most of these were mild, with allergies and hyperventilation as the most severe side effects recorded, said FDA chief Eric Domingo. 

Overall, the Philippines has fully vaccinated some 34.1 million of its 109 million population.