‘Phased’ jabs awaiting teenagers in 8 hospitals | Inquirer News
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‘Phased’ jabs awaiting teenagers in 8 hospitals

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 05:48 AM October 08, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — As the government secures more vaccine supplies, eight hospitals in Metro Manila have been tagged to participate in the “phased and sequential” pilot vaccination of minors that is aimed at preventing Dengvaxia-like events, National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said Wednesday night.

“There are fears among doctors and parents because vaccination of children is a very sensitive issue in the Philippines,” Galvez, also the vaccine czar, told President Duterte during a televised Cabinet meeting.

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Galvez reiterated that the pediatric age group vaccination against COVID-19 will be done “in phases and incremental.”

“It will be done slowly so at least the parents and guardians will have the confidence in our phased vaccination approach,” he said.

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Some former and current officials of the Department of Health are facing criminal charges filed by parents of children who died after receiving inoculations with the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.

Galvez said the inoculation of minors will be piloted in eight hospitals: Philippine Children’s Medical Center, National Children’s Hospital, Philippine Heart Center, Pasig City Children’s Hospital, Fe Del Mundo Medical Center, Philippine General Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital-Global City, and the Makati Medical Center.

Only minors with comorbidities will be vaccinated in the hospitals during the pilot, with those aged 15 to 17 years old to get their shots first, followed by those aged 12 to 14.

Experts on standby

Dr. Lulu Bravo, chair of the National Adverse Events Following Immunization Committee, who was a guest at the briefing, said health experts are on standby in hospitals to examine side effects that may arise among the vaccine recipients.

“We will look at the effects and if there are none, the vaccination [for the rest of the eligible minor population] will push through,” she said.

Bravo said she hoped children would be vaccinated before the resumption of in-person classes.

“Face-to-face classes would be better if the children are vaccinated. Of course, they will still have to comply with minimum public standards [during classes],” she said.

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However, she advised members of the households of the vaccinated schoolchildren that they themselves should also get vaccinated.

“It’s also good if the household members of these children going to school are also vaccinated. It’s not good if you send children to school but those at home are not yet vaccinated,” she said.

Galvez earlier said there were around 12.7 million Filipinos aged 12 to 17.

He said the government thought it best to prepare an allocation of 60 million doses, which would cover all minors in the country who number between 26 million and 29 million.

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TAGS: COVID-19, vaccination of minors, vaccine
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