More hospitals administer COVID-19 jabs on minors as expanded rollout begins

Christian Deiparine - Philstar.com
More hospitals administer COVID-19 jabs on minors as expanded rollout begins
Health Undersecretary Roger Tong-an administers a COVID-19 vaccine on an adolescent during the ceremonial program of the expanded inoculation efforts at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center on October 22, 2021
Release / Department of Health

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine health authorities on Friday began the expanded COVID-19 vaccination program for adolescents with more hospitals now administering the jabs. 

The government opened inoculations for the said age group or those 12 to 17 years old in mid-October, specifically on those with underlying conditions or comorbidities. 

It came seven months since the country launched its efforts to vaccinate up to 77 million individuals this year and achieve "population protection."

Eight hospitals in the National Capital Region were picked as initial sites for minors' inoculation. 

That figure has since been expanded to add 13 more institutions, according to Dr. Paz Corrales of the Metro Manila Center for Health Development.

Officials were at a ceremonial vaccination program this morning at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in Mandaluyong, one of the additional pilot sites.

Citing vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., Corrales added there are now 5,781 minors vaccinated as of October 21. 

"We want to give importance to this because this will give way for the safe return of our children to schools," she said in Filipino, "and to reopen the economy faster."

Health Undersecretary Roger Tong-an acknowledged that lockdowns have stunted children's growth and have affected their mental health. 

He urged more adults and of the eligible population of minors to register for the jabs, as it will "make a better environment for the kids."

The Department of Health has said it is looking to vaccinate an estimated 1.2 million children with comorbidities. 

Those joining the pilot run need a consent from their parents, as well as an assent of their own. They would also be monitored for adverse effects following immunization. 

Vaccines cleared for emergency use on adolescents by the Food and Drug Administration so far are Pfizer and Moderna. 

Select hospitals in the capital region also began vaccination minors on Friday, such as the Opistal ng Maynila Medical Center and Pasay City General Hospital, to name a few. 

Of the adult population, government figures showed some 25.10 million have completed their COVID-19 shots, while 29.34 million have received a first dose.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 12, 2021 - 11:01am

A new thread on the Philippines' vaccination program in 2021 in the government's revised objective to reach "population protection." (Main image: The STAR/Michael Varcas, file)

November 12, 2021 - 11:01am

Starting December 1, the vaccination of employees required to work on-site will be mandatory in the public and private sector in areas with sufficient COVID-19 jabs supply.

"However, eligible employees who remain to be unvaccinated may not be terminated but they shall be required to undergo regular RT-PCR testing, or antigen tests, at their own expense," Malacañang says.

November 3, 2021 - 10:11am

The Philippine government is targeting to administer at least 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of November, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. says.

The government aims to achieve 1 million to 1.5 million jabs per day starting November 20.

To achieve this, Galvez says about 4,000 to 5,000 vaccination sites would be activated, including malls, universities, schools, gyms, camps and function halls of different government agencies.

October 27, 2021 - 10:56am

The Philippine government will start the full rollout of COVID-19 vaccination among minors aged 12 to 17 on November 5.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire says the guidelines are being drafted.

October 25, 2021 - 9:02am

The Health Technology Assessment Council of the Department of Health recommends the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for healthcare workers by fourth quarter of this year.

The council also recommends rolling out booster shots among eligible priority groups by next year.

HTAC says the recommendations are offered "in consideration of sufficient vaccine supply and acceptable coverage for primary vaccination."

October 8, 2021 - 10:00am

Another 2.1 million doses of Moderna and more than 661,100 doses of Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccines arrive at NAIA Terminal 1 on Friday morning.

The Moderna vaccines are procured by the government while the Astrazeneca jabs were bought by the private sector.

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