The government will expand the pilot vaccination of minors in Metro Manila this week.
“On Friday, we will begin phase two of our pediatric vaccination pilot here in the National Capital Region, with the addition of 13 more local hospitals,” Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in Filipino.
The pilot began Friday with six government hospitals and gave priority to minors with comorbidities. The run aims to vaccinate some 144,000 children aged 15 to 17 until the end of the month, Malaya said.
Parents or guardians who want to have their children vaccinated need to coordinate with their local government and present valid IDs, the child’s medical certificate, and clearance for vaccination, he said.
Meanwhile, a minimal number of COVID-19 infections were reported among college students and teachers participating in the limited face-to-face classes in the country, the Commission on Higher Education on Monday said.
Interviewed on ANC, CHED executive director Cinderella Jaro said most of the cases had mild symptoms or were asymptomatic, without giving exact figures.
“The infection of the students attending the limited face-to-face classes has been really minimal, including even infections among faculty... Based on the reports of our regional offices, most of them or all of them are mild to asymptomatic cases,” she said.
Jaro said the implementation of protocols have been effective in curbing the spread of the virus among learners and faculty.
The government initially allowed limited face-to-face classes for allied health sciences and medicine only.
The Philippines has approved two vaccine brands—Pfizer and Moderna—for minors.
Some 1,509 minors with comorbidities aged 15 to 17 were vaccinated against COVID-19 during the first week of the rollout of pediatric vaccination, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, during a radio interview, said the pilot vaccination was “very successful.”
“This is good proof that our parents and our minors are confident in the vaccines,” she said.
Vergeire said they have received reports that some of the minors experienced side effects but said the DOH has yet to complete its assessment of these cases.
Vergeire said the government will determine if the vaccination can be rolled out to more minors and other areas in two to three weeks.
“We have activities lined up at hospitals. We will be rolling out into our local government vaccination centers,” she said.
The DOH estimates there are around 1.2 million children with comorbidities aged 12 to 17 years old nationwide.
Vergeire previously said children seeking vaccination must get a clearance from their doctors as well as give their consent and assent.
Last month, President Rodrigo Duterte approved CHED’s request to allow face-to-face classes for five other degree programs — Engineering and Technology programs, Hospitality/Hotel and Restaurant Management, Tourism/Travel Management, Marine Engineering, and Marine.
Last week, CHED chairman Prospero De Vera III said they are studying the possibility of allowing limited face-to-face classes in all degree programs in areas that have low cases of COVID-19 and high vaccination rates.
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