PH to expand COVID-19 vaccination of minors to 13 more hospitals, says Duterte

Published October 20, 2021, 12:54 AM

by Raymund Antonio

President Duterte on Tuesday, October 19, announced that the Philippines will expand its vaccination program of minors to 13 more hospitals.

President Rodrigo Duterte addresses the nation on October 19, 2021. (RTVM Screenshot)

Currently, there are eight hospitals in the National Capital Region (NCR) that are participating in the said program.

Some 1,100 minors aged between 12 and 17 have already been given their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine since the program began on Friday, Oct. 15.

READ: Over 144,000 minors targeted in pilot pediatric COVID vaccination

Following that, the President said that close to 53 million doses of vaccines have already been administered nationwide as of Monday, Oct. 18.

This brought to 32 percent the total percentage of the population already fully vaccinated.

“Napakaganda niyan na balita (That’s very good news). This is not just for your own protection, but also for the civic duty to protect others, and also allow to turn the page and get everyone back on track of normalcy,” Duterte said during his pre-recorded public address aired on late Tuesday night.

In the National Capital Region (NCR), more than 80 percent of the population has already been fully vaccinated, the President noted.

“We are well on our way (to) achieving our target of at least 50 percent. We are confident that most, if not all, cities will hit or even surpass the target before Christmas,” he said.

READ: Palace sets target: Over half of Pinoys fully vaccinated vs COVID by year’s end

Metro Manila has also eased into Alert Level 3, which allows 50 percent indoor capacity and 30 percent outdoor capacity for establishments. The less stringent restrictions also mean that there will be no age limit to who can go outside their homes, although children are still not allowed in malls.

The Department of Health (DOH) prioritized the inoculation of minors with comorbidities—medical complexity, genetic conditions, neurologic conditions, metabolic/ endocrine, cardiovascular disease, obesity, HIV infection, tuberculosis, chronic respiratory disease, renal disorders, and hepatobiliary.

This list was made in consultation with the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society.

The eight pilot hospitals for the vaccination of adolescents are the National Children’s Hospital, the Philippine Heart Center, Fe Del Mundo Medical Center, Philippine Children’s Medical Center in Quezon City, Pasig City Children’s Hospital, Philippine General Hospital, Makati Medical Center, and St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig.