Quezon City revs up vaccination for minors

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government has opened the COVID-19 vaccine registration for minors who have comorbidities.

Pending the arrival of vaccine supply, Mayor Joy Belmonte said yesterday parents or guardians may register minors with comorbidities at the QCVaxEasy website or through their respective barangays.

“Now that we are close to reaching our 1.7 million target population of fully vaccinated eligible individuals, it is high time that we expand our vaccination drive to children with co-morbidities who, like the individuals with comorbidities belonging to A3, are also highly at risk of getting sick with the virus,” she said.

“It is now time to shift our attention to minors because they are also vulnerable to the virus. Moreover, they comprise about 30 percent of the city’s approximately 3.1 million population and it is impossible to achieve population protection, which requires vaccination of 80 percent of our total population, without including them,” she added.

Minors aged 12 to 17 with existing comorbidities shall be tagged under Pediatric A3 in the list of priority sectors.

Comorbidities include medical complexity, genetic conditions, neurologic conditions, metabolic/endocrine diseases, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, HIV infection, tuberculosis, chronic respiratory diseases, renal disorders, hepatobiliary diseases and those who are immunocompromised due to disease or treatment.

Only vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna have been approved so far for the inoculation of minors, said Malu Eleria of the city’s vaccination task force.

“Since we are starting the registration process, we will be requesting the allocation of vaccines from the national government depending on the list of registrants generated,” she added.

The city government said it will soon announce the start of the registration for other minors.

Coordination meetings with private and public schools are also ongoing to begin the identification of possible vaccination sites in their school grounds.

The Department of Health has initiated the pilot vaccination drive for minors with co-morbidities in nine hospitals in Metro Manila, including four located in Quezon City: National Children’s Hospital, Philippine Heart Center, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, and Fe Del Mundo Hospital.

The selected vaccinees are patients of these hospitals.

As of Oct. 16, Quezon City has administered 3,417,523 vaccine doses, including 1.8 million first doses and 1.6 million second doses.

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