Gov't to prioritize vaccination of 1.2M adolescents with comorbidities

Published October 16, 2021, 8:29 AM

by Aaron Recuenco 

The national government will prioritize the vaccination of more or less 1.2 million adolescents with comorbidities nationwide, the first to benefit were a total of 1,151 young Filipinos with ages from 15 to 17 years old during the first day of rollout on Friday in eight hospitals in Metro Manila.

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., vaccine czar and chief implementer of the National Task Force against COVID-19, said the pediatric vaccination will be conducted by age group, wherein those aged 15 to 17 years old will be inoculated first, followed by those within the 12 to 14 year-old age bracket.

He, however, said that those who would be prioritized are adolescents with comorbidity, or under the Pediatric A3 category.

Based on the projection of the NTF against COVID-19, about 1.2 million adolescents with comorbidities are qualified to take jab, in which around 144,123 of them are from the National Capital Region (NCR).

“The vaccination for children with comorbidities or those under the Pediatric A3 category will be conducted in ‘a safe, phased, sequential, and monitored’ manner in line with the recalibrated vaccination plan,” said Galvez.

“The safety and wellness of the children receiving the vaccines were carefully considered by the government, which led to the decision to conduct the inoculations in hospitals specializing in pediatric care,” he added.

Those who qualified to take part in the vaccine rollout are children and adolescents with underlying medical conditions such as medical complexity, genetic condition, neurologic conditions, metabolic or endocrine diseases, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, HIV Infection, tuberculosis, chronic respiratory disease, renal disorders, hepatobiliary disease, and immunocompromised due to disease or treatment.

Rollout in the Provinces

The pediatric vaccination started at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Fe Del Mundo Medical Center, Philippine Heart Center, Pasig City Children’s Hospital, Philippine General Hospital, St. Luke’s Medical Center BGC, and Makati Medical Center.

The vaccine rollout will have four phases. The pilot rollout was held in select hospitals in Metro Manila, while the rollout in all 17 local government units in the National Capital Region is scheduled on October 22 wherein each local government unit (LGU) will identify one hospital as a vaccination site.

The regional rollout for areas that have fully vaccinated 50 percent of their A2 (senior citizen) group may begin inoculating their minors on November 5.

The rollout in other parts of the country will be determined by the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) based on the status of the country’s vaccine inventory and the number of vaccinated individuals in a specific area.

“This occasion is a major development in our vaccination program because if we carry this out successfully, as we have previously done with our priority groups, we shall be able to continue the expansion of our face-to-face classes,” said Galvez.

PH Vaccine Supply

The Philippines has so far received 90.61 million doses of vaccines since February, of which, 51.48 million doses were administered as of October 14.

This brings the total number of fully vaccinated individuals in the country to 23.98 million or 31.09 percent of the target population.