The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, Sept. 20 said experts are still studying the inclusion of individuals aged 12 to 17 years in the country’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program.
“Sa ngayon ay hindi pa natin nabibigyan ng rekomendasyon itong pagbabakuna sa mga kabataan natin, patuloy pa rin hong pinag-aaralan ng ating mga eksperto itong pagbabakuna sa mga bata (So far we have not yet recommended the vaccination to our young people, our experts are still studying this vaccination on children), said Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire in an interview with Unang Balita.
“Unang-una, tinitignan po nila yung safety side at pangalawa tinitignan nila yung equity side (First of all, they are looking at the safety side and secondly, they look at the equity side,” she added.
While minors can also be infected with the deadly virus, Vergeire said the risk of severe infection and death is still more common with adults.
She added that they wanted to prioritized the adults first as the vaccine supply in the country is still unstable.
“Gusto muna natin pagtuunan ang mga mas nakakatanda, na may vulnerability sa severity and dying (We want to focus first on the elderly, who are vulnerable to severity and dying),” Vergeire said.
Vergeire, meanwhile, said COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) have not reached the peak yet.
“Nakakita tayo nung isang linggo na mataas na number of cases dito sa NCR pero hindi pa po natin nakikita yung pagbaba niya kasi patuloy parin po ang pagtaas ng mga kaso (We saw a high number of cases here in NCR last week but we have not seen a decrease yet because the number of cases continues to increase), she said.
“Sa ngayon po nakikita parin natin ang patuloy na pagtaas at mukhang hindi pa natin nakikita ang peak na yan (So far we are still seeing the continuous increase and it looks like we have not seen that peak yet),” Vergeire added.
Over 18 million individuals have already been fully vaccinated in the Philippines as of Sept. 18.
Of these, more than 2.17 million were healthcare workers, 4.26 million were senior citizens, six million were persons with comorbidities, 4.58 million were essential workers, and 1.45 million were indigents.