The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination on children will be piloted in selected hospitals in Metro Manila, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said.
The three confirmed hospitals where the pilot vaccination will be conducted will be at the National Children’s Hospital in Quezon City, Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City, and Philippine General Hospital in Manila, said DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje.
She said that the other hospitals are still being finalized. “May mga adjustments sa (There are some adjustments in the) first lists. [We] will have [the] final list by Tuesday or Wednesday,” Cabotaje said in a text message.
In a radio interview on Sunday, Cabotaje said there were at least 12.7 million Filipino children aged 12 to 17 in the country. She reiterated that vaccination on minors will start first on children with comorbidities.
“Pero ang gagawin po natin, hindi natin (muna) babakunahan lahat. Uumpisahan natin sa mga children with comorbidities, so about 10 percent of the 12 million. So ayun ang unang target natin for the next two to three months (What we’re going to do, we will not be vaccinating everyone at first. We’re going to start with children with comorbidities, so that’s about 10 percent of the 12 million. So that’s our first target for the next two to three months),” she said.
Cabotaje said that they will first observe the vaccination in hospitals before expanding the program in regular vaccination sites.
“Huwag muna ngayon sa umpisa, para makita lang natin kung ano ang mga kailangan. Kapag okay na tayo…then pwede na natin expand sa mga regular na sites (Not now— just so we can see what is still needed. If the pilot vaccination is good enough… then we can expand to regular sites),” she said during the radio interview.
“We will see how soon we can start with health centers,” she said in a text message.
The pilot rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination for minors aged 12 to 17 years old will begin on Oct. 15, 2021.