Over 144,000 minors targeted in pilot pediatric COVID vaccination

Published October 18, 2021, 3:58 PM

by Chito Chavez

A total of 144,131 minors, aged 15 to 17, are targeted for immunization under the two-phase Pediatric Vaccination Pilot in Metro Manila with those with comorbidities being prioritized, said Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya on Monday, Oct. 18.

The initial phase of the Pediatric Vaccination Pilot was held in the DOH hospitals on Oct. 15 with the phase 2 scheduled from Oct. 22 to 31 and will be now done in the LGU based hospitals with 13 additional hospitals for this purpose.

In a news briefing, Malaya noted that each locality has identified one hospital that will be included in the Pediatric Vaccination Pilot which include the Caloocan Medical Center, Ospital ng Parañaque, Pasay General Hospitals and others.

He noted that the parents who want their child to be inoculated in the Phase 2 pilot vaccination for the age group can just coordinate with their respective LGUs where the valid identification card (ID), medical certificate of the child proving the comorbidity and clearance for vaccination are required.

The Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) in the same briefing feared that the relaxed NCR to alert level 3 might cause a coronavirus disease-2019 COVID-19 rebound complaining that the intensive care units (ICU) and emergency wards in the hospitals remain full.

In light of the relaxed restrictions, the group questioned how can the DILG assure that the Metro Manila local government units (LGUs) can strictly enforce the minimum health protocols where there is an influx of crowds flocking the malls, parks and similar places.

The PCP also asked what steps would the DILG take in the event the COVID-19 cases surge in the LGUs.

Malaya noted that the DILG together with the Department of Health (DOH) had monitored the Metro Manila hospital situation citing their improved condition.

Based on the DOH data, Malaya pointed out that the ICU bed utilization dropped from 69 to 65 percent while the isolation figure remain at the same level of 44 percent.

He added that the ward bed utilization level decreased from 50 to 48 percent and the ventilator usage dipped from 51 to 50 percent.

In terms of new COVID-19 cases, Malaya disclosed that the number was down below the 7,000 mark saying it is now at 6,913 as of Oct. 17.

The DILG spokesperson disclosed that the figures are the same when compared to the OCTA Research Group stressing that the COVID-19 reproduction rate is now at 0.58 percent from the previous 0.61 percent.

Malaya noted that from 14 percent COVID-19 positivity rate the number is now at 10 percent citing that the average daily attack rate (ADAR) has improved from 13.65 percent to 11.87 percent. (Chito A. Chavez)