DOH readies 2-week test run of teen jabs starting Oct. 15
MANILA, Philippines — A two-week “test run” for the inoculation of minors in Metro Manila is set to start on Oct. 15, the health department said on Wednesday.
Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s go signal on pediatric vaccination against the coronavirus, Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said children aged 12 to 17 who have comorbidities would be the first to get their shots.
Cabotaje, who is chair of the National Vaccination Operations Center, said the center was considering conducting initial vaccination in hospitals where reactions to the vaccines could be observed and readily addressed.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Department of Health (DOH) would issue guidelines “soon,” and that a checklist of qualified comorbidities would be provided by the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines.
After the test run in Metro Manila, the vaccination of minors in various other regions will follow.
Minors can be inoculated with either Pfizer or Moderna, the only vaccines with emergency use authorization for 12- to 17-year-olds issued by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration.
Vergeire said children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to the actual vaccination appointment.
Parents or guardians must sign an informed consent form for their children. Additionally, Cabotaje said, children must give their assent to get inoculated.
“The child should know what is being given to him,” she said.
For children with comorbidities, medical certificates must be presented in the vaccination center.
The DOH said the expansion of vaccination of minors beyond those with underlying conditions “will follow once adequate coverage of the A2 priority group or senior citizens has been achieved nationwide and vaccine supply becomes sufficient to include children.”
As for the vaccination for the general or the rest of the eligible population, which Duterte has also approved, Cabotaje said the rollout would start at the end of October or at the beginning of November when more vaccine supplies were set to arrive.
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