COVID vaccination of children aged 12 to 17 to start on Oct. 15 in six hospital sites

Those with comorbidities to be prioritized; first phase of pilot implementation to start with those aged 15 to 17, followed by 12 to 14 age group

Vaccine czar Secretary Carito Galvez Jr., speaking during the Oct. 4 briefing on COVID-19 vaccines. (Screenhot of PCOO/RTVM video/ courtest PCOO/RTVM)

(Eagle News) – The Philippine government bared plans for the vaccination of adolescents, saying that the first phase would be the inoculation of those aged 15 to 17 years old, followed by those aged 12 to 14.

The pilot implementation that would start Friday next week, Oct. 15, will be held in six hospital sites.

These are the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, National Children’s Hospital, Philippine Heart Center, Pasig City Children’s Hospital, Fe Del Mundo Medical Center, and Philippine General Hospital.

National Task Force against COVID-19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., said that after 14 days, the NTF will expand the rollout to select local government units in the National Capital Region (NCR), which include Manila, Pasig, Taguig, Makati, Quezon City, and Mandaluyong.

Then after 30 days, they would have a rollout of the vaccines for adolescents to the rest of Metro Manila but only in the cities or areas where more than half of the targeted elderly population have already been vaccinated.

-Parental consent needed-

Health Secretary Francisco Duque said that those with comorbidities and children of health workers would be prioritized. The children to be vaccinated should also have parental consent.

Dahil sila po ay mga minor ay kinakailangan po talaga ng parental consent ano, hindi pupuwedeng sila-sila na lamang ang magdidesisyon at wala naman po silang kakayanan para magdesisyon para sa kanilang mga sari-sarili,” Duque said in a Palace briefing on Monday, Oct. 4.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III explains the pilot implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 12 to 17. (Screenhot of PCOO/RTVM video/ courtesy PCOO/RTVM)

He also explained why the pilot implementation of the vaccination of children or adolescents would take place in a hospital setting. This is because they need to monitor if there would be adverse effects of the COVID-19 vaccines for adolescents or those aged 12 to 17.

Ang mahalaga po rito, maging maayos ang sistema, ang proseso ng pagbabakuna kaya nga ito po ay ilulunsad sa ating mga ospital muna para nang sa ganoon kung magkaroon man ng mga adverse event following immunization ay at least nasa loob na po ng ospital at mabilis na matugunan kung magkaroon man ng emergency. So iyon lang po at itutuloy po natin ito,” the heath secretary said.

-Metro Manila mayors all set for vaccination of adolescents-

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos said that the local governments in NCR are all set to inoculate adolescents and had already conducted pre-registration. The NCR local officials are now determining the number of adolescents with comorbidities who will be preioritized for vcaccination, he said,

Some 60 million vaccine doses have been set aside for the inoculation of children 12 to 17 years old since the total population of children in this age group would reach “more or less 26 to 29 million.”

Galvez said that based on the initial tally, there are about 12.7 million Filipinos within the 12 to 17 years age group who are qualified for the initial COVID-19 vaccination.

“Talagang gagawin po natin sa mga bata, para sa kaalaman po ng lahat, na gagawin po natin talagang phased, closely monitored at talagang sequential ang gagawin po natin,” he said.

The vaccine czar said that the pilot implementation in the initial two weeks would involve thousands of qualified children.

(Eagle News Service)