The COVID-19 vaccination among minors aged 12 to 17 is expected to start on October 15 as the country expands its vaccination program.
Due to limited vaccine supply, the national government will start inoculating minors in Metro Manila during the initial rollout. The vaccines that will be given to them are Pfizer and Moderna, which have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for minors.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), the initial vaccine program will be done in two phases. First will be the 15 to 17 years old, then followed by 12 to 14 years old. (Read: Vaccination For Aged 12 to 17 May Start by the End of September or October)
Minors with comorbidities will fall under the A3 category. The DOH also identified 11 pre-existing illnesses that will be considered as a priority in the initial rollout. Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines listed the following illnesses:
- Medical complexity
- Genetic conditions
- Neurologic conditions
- Cardiovascular disease
- HIV infection
- Chronic respiratory disease
- Renal disorders
The parent or guardian must give informed consent and present a medical certificate as proof of the comorbidity. It is advised for the minors to undergo a check-up or ask their doctors for approval prior to the COVID-19 vaccination.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. said that the pilot run will be conducted in limited hospitals in Metro Manila. Here’s the comprehensive list of the pilot areas:
- National Children’s Hospital (Quezon City)
- Philippine Heart Center (Quezon City)
- Fe Del Mundo Medical Center (Quezon City)
- Philippine Children’s Medical Center (Quezon City)
- Pasig City Children’s Hospital (Pasig)
- Philippine General Hospital (Manila)
- Cardinal Santos Medical Center (Manila)
- Makati Medical Center (Makati)
- St. Luke’s Medical Center (Taguig)
Vergeire reiterated that the pilot run of pediatric vaccination will allow “monitoring of possible adverse reactions among immunocompromised minors.” (Read: Common COVID-19 Vaccine Fake News And Myths–Debunked!)
“Ilulunsad ito sa mga ospital muna, para kung magkaroon man ng adverse event following immunization, at least nasa loob na po ng ospital at matugunan kung magkaroon man ng emergency,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III stated in a news article from Rappler.
Getting vaccinated can protect you and the people around you against the COVID-19, but it will not prevent you from contracting the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised the parents or guardians to talk about the vaccine with their children before, during, and after the vaccination to make them understand what to expect and why it is important.
The CDC also reminded the possible side effects such as muscle pain, swelling, chills, fever, headache, and nausea, which are normal signs that their body is building protection. Parents or guardians must still need to observe these possible side effects. (Read: 3 Things to Do After Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine)