THE Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday, October 31, 2021, reminded parents and guardians of minors aged 12 to 17 years old that they cannot force children and adolescents to get inoculated against coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said in a radio interview that it would be impossible for children and adolescents to be vaccinated without their own approval.
“In order to make sure that the children understand what will happen, we have required their assent,” said Cabotaje.
“This will also ensure that they are not being forced to get vaccinated and that they are aware of what will be given to them and its possible side effects,” she added.
The health official also said having such a process will allow children to help spread the word on pediatric vaccination.
“By doing that, they can also be advocates to other children of their age on getting vaccinated,” Cabotaje said.
On Wednesday, the Philippine government will start the nationwide rollout of the pediatric vaccination among all children aged 12 to 17 years old.
The DOH said there are around 12.7 million children and adolescents targeted for the rollout.
It comes less than a month since the DOH began the inoculation of minors with comorbidities.
Since October 15, the DOH has vaccinated around 34,000 children with comorbidities aged 12 to 17 years old in the Philippines.
In Cebu City, where pediatric vaccination began with 100 minors with comorbidities last Friday, Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, head of the Cebu City Health Department (CCHD), said in addition to registering on Pabakunata.com, the city’s portal for Covid-19 vaccination, minors and their parent or guardian must complete the requirements outlined in the Department of Health guidelines before they can be vaccinated against Covid-19.
The CCHD, assisted by the DOH, rolled out the pediatric vaccination in the city at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center compound.
9,000 in Cebu City
Ibones said 9,000 minors had registered for Covid-19 vaccination in Cebu City, and all of them must have identification cards (ID), while those with comorbidities must have a medical certificate and their parent/guardian must carry an ID.
The CCHD head said once everything is ready, they will announce to the public this week the three venues for the vaccination of the minors aged 12 to 17, and the pediatricians who will conduct the vaccinations.
Ibones said when the minors and guardians complete their requirements, it will be easy to vaccinate the minors as the city has an adequate supply of vaccines.
The CCHD head also announced that the vaccination of adults against Covid-19 will continue at the University of Cebu located on J. Alcantara St., Southwestern University Phinma and Ayala Center Cebu, which are being considered as vaccination sites for the minors because they are near hospitals. (HDT / SunStar Philippines, PAC)