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Vaccinate entire adult population first, health expert urges gov’t

/ 03:40 PM October 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The government should prioritize the COVID-19 vaccination of the whole adult population amid the rollout of children immunization against COVID-19, a health expert said on Thursday.

The government opened the nationwide vaccination of the general population this October as COVID-19 vaccine supply is currently enough.

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During a media table discussion, Dr. Rommel Lobo, allergist and clinical immunologist, said that vaccinating the whole adult population would likewise provide protection for children.

“So, first, if we vaccinate the whole population of adults who are and would be the source of infection, I think the children would be safe. Kaya dapat, ‘yun muna ‘yung (So, that should be the) target,” Lobo explained during the “What’s in Store in 2021 and Beyond” discussion.

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“So, if you’re going to tell me, they should be vaccinated pero (but) we should have more priority do’n sa (on the) adult population. Marami pang adult na hindi nababakunahan sa totoo lang (In fact, there are many unvaccinated adults),” he said.

Despite stressing the need to inoculate adults, Lobo noted that children should also receive a vaccine in preparation for in-person classes.

“We now vaccinate the 12 to 17 because they’re going to school and they get to be exposed and then face-to-face; yes, they should be vaccinated,” he said.

READ: DepEd: 90 schools joining pilot run of limited in-person classes as of Oct 25

Lobo, also a member of the National Adverse Event Following Immunization Committee, pointed out that adverse events are “rare” among vaccinated children.

So far, the Department of Health reported that only 25 out of the 23,000 inoculated children experienced adverse reactions.

According to Lobo, they are monitoring immunized children up to 21 days after inoculation to observe if adverse events such as myocarditis or inflammation of the heart would occur.

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“What we’re worried about is the — we’re trying to monitor after they’ve been vaccinated between seven to 21 days in the so-called myocarditis or inflammation of the heart. And so far, we haven’t [seen] one at present because we’re still monitoring them,” he noted.

Vaccination of children with comorbidities aged 12 to 17 piloted in Metro Manila on October 15.

As of October 27, the government has fully vaccinated 26,479,028 individuals out of its 77 million target.

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TAGS: adults, Children, COVID-19, immunization, minors, pediatric vaccination, Rommel Lobo, vaccine
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