Cebu City to start vaccinating 100 minors with comorbidities

·3 min read

THE Cebu City Government will begin the vaccination of minors from 12 to 17 years old against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center compound on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021.

The vaccination will be conducted in a building in the compound that is not part of the hospital.

Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, head of the City Health Department (CHD), said they would prioritize vaccinating children with comorbidities.

Ibones said 100 of the more than 900 minors with comorbidities who had registered through Pabakunata.com, would be vaccinated with Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine Friday.

Pabakunata.com is the portal for the City’s Covid-19 vaccination program.

Children with comorbidities going to the vaccination site must bring a medical certificate, while the parent accompanying them must bring an identification card.

Ibones said 7,600 minors without comorbidities, whose parents had consented to their vaccination, had also signed up.

There are an estimated 160,000 minors aged 12 to 17 years old in the city.

The CHD chief said they faced difficulties getting mothers to agree to their children’s vaccination, as some feared that the vaccines would have adverse effects on their children.

Ibones said they would not vaccinate minors without their parents’ consent.

Last Wednesday, the Department of Health announced that it would begin the nationwide vaccination of minors aged 12-17 on Nov. 5.

This, after the successful pilot testing of the pediatric vaccination in the National Capital Region last Oct. 15.

On Thursday, Oct. 28, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said local government units (LGUs) can start the vaccination of children aged 12 to 17 against Covid-19 next week even if they have not yet vaccinated 70 percent of their senior citizen population.

Cabotaje bared this in an online forum, saying the experts have agreed to no longer make the percentage of senior citizens accomplishment as requirement, as both can be done at the same time.

The government earlier said that LGUs must first vaccinate 70 percent of their respective senior citizen populations before they can start administering doses to children aged 12 to 17.

The pediatric vaccination is set to expand mostly in the National Capital Region on November 3 and will be implemented nationwide starting November 5. The DOH said the Philippines has a pediatric population of 12,722,070.

“The first suggestion of our experts was to make sure that the senior citizen vaccination rate was high, because there is no sense in vaccinating the children when we know that those who are likely to die from Covid-19 are senior citizens. But operationally, we also saw, as per recommendation also of our healthcare workers, that we can do both at the same time,” Cabotaje said.

She clarified, though, that while the vaccination of senior citizens and children can be done synchronically, senior citizens must still be prioritized.

The DOH official assured that the government will continue to strengthen its strategies to improve the vaccination drive to make sure that all senior citizens and the pediatric population, especially those with comorbidities, are vaccinated against Covid-19.

As of October 27, the DOH said, 4,640,338 senior citizens in the country had been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, while 3,789,517 had received their first dose of the vaccines.

In the National Capital Region, where the pediatric vaccination has been implemented, 23,727 children aged 12 to 17 have so far received their first dose.

The Philippines has administered a total of 57,494,154 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, as of Wednesday, October 27. (PAC / LMY / SunStar Philippines)

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