Minors between 12-17 can now get COVID-19 booster jabs —DOH

Minors between 12-17 can now get COVID-19 booster jabs �DOH
The general pediatric population (children aged 12 to 17 years old) receives the first dose of Pfizer vaccine at the Marikina Sports Center,
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — All adolescents — minors between 12 and 17 — can now get their COVID-19 booster shots from the government, the Department of Health said on Tuesday. 

Earlier, the department said it will be only giving booster doses for adolescents considered as immunocompromised, as well as adults. 

"Children aged 12 to 17 can now get their booster dose against COVID-19!" DOH said in an announcement shared on its official Twitter account on Tuesday. The post contained infographics which were dated June 27, but was only made available to the public on Tuesday.

A booster shot is given to people who have completed their primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire separately told reporters that all local government units and vaccination sites that are ready for the rollout begin the inoculation of adolescents.

Pfizer shots

DOH said that it will only give Pfizer-BioNTech booster doses to adolescents. Those who did not get Pfizer doses for their primary series are still eligible to get vaccinated with this brand.

Immunocompromised adolescents can meanwhile get their additional shots, or those which are considered an extension of their first two doses, after at least 28 days of getting their primary series. They can head over to medical centers, hospitals, and rural healthcare units to schedule their appointments, according to the DOH. 

Meanwhile, the general population are allowed to get their booster shots at least five weeks after their primary doses. Adolescents under this category can get their schedules by applying with their respective local government units. 

DOH reminded adolescents that they need to bring their parents or guardians with them to the vaccination site. 

The department has cited waning vaccine immunity from the primary series as among the reasons for the recent uptick in COVID-19 infections. 

Of the 12.74 million qualified adolescents, some 7,042 have completed their booster doses, as of July 4, Health statistics showed. 

The Philippines has logged 1,188 more new COVID-19 infections on Monday, bringing up the total caseload to 3.71 million recorded since the start of the pandemic. 

Of the total number, 3.64 million have recovered; over 10,000 remain active; and more than 60,000 have died due to the virus. — Angelica Y. Yang

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