QC readies to vaccinate children 12 to 17 years of age
MANILA, Philippines — The local government of Quezon City on Wednesday said it has already started its preparations for the vaccination of minors or adolescents aged 12 to 17 years old against COVID-19.
This came after the Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency use authorization for the US-made vaccine Moderna for the 12 to 17-year-old age group.
According to the city’s local government, it is currently working with public and private schools to determine the total number of currently enrolled students in the city in preparation for the city-wide registration and rollout of vaccines for adolescents.
The local government said that it has estimated around 267,000, as of writing but said that there could be more eligible for the vaccination program given that many stopped schooling during the community quarantine period. This data will then be used as a basis for the allocation and registration of this age group for the vaccines.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said that they consider the inoculation of children crucial to reaching population protection.
“For months we have been focused on inoculating 80% of Quezon City’s adult population or 1.7 million individuals 18 and above and we have now vaccinated more than that target. It is now time to shift our attention to minors because they are also vulnerable to the virus,” said Belmonte.
“Moreover, they comprise about 30% of the city’s approximately 3.1 million population and it is impossible to reach herd immunity or 80% of total population without including them,” she added.
Meanwhile, QC Task Force Vax to Normal co-chair Joseph Juico said that the city will also be putting up vaccination sites in campuses and school grounds in preparation for the vaccination of minors.
As for the out-of-school youth, homeschooled and students enrolled outside the city, Juico said they are already coordinating with barangay officials for proper enlisting of the said children.
He added that the online booking system developed by the city will also be activated once the vaccines for children are available so they can schedule the date, time, and venue of their inoculation.
“Rest assured that once we have the necessary guidelines and vaccine supply from the national government, we will immediately roll the vaccination program for minors,” Juico added
Data from the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) showed that as of September 14, the city has recorded a total of 13,441 cases of COVID-19 among children aged 0 to 17.
Meanwhile, the city earlier announced that it has finished vaccinating its target residents with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. As of Sept. 15, the city has already administered 1,750,537 first doses or 102.97 percent of its target population and fully vaccinated 1,232,681 or 72.51 percent of the target population.
The national government has yet to include adolescents in its vaccination campaign but vaccine manager Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said that the government targets to open the vaccination to the general public — including vulnerable children with comorbidities — by October this year.
Moderna is the second vaccine to have been granted use on adolescents. The FDA earlier allowed the use of another US-made vaccine, Pfizer, for 12 to 15 years of age.
The vaccine developed by China, Sinovac, on the other hand, which is the current dominant vaccine procured by the Philippine government, has already sought approval for its use on children aged 3 to 17 years.
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