The government’s vaccination program against the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) for minors aged 12-17 with comorbidities has been expanded to 17 Metro Manila hospitals, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Saturday, Oct. 23.
DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that the Phase 2 expansion of the vaccination program comes after the original eight national hospitals where Phase 1 of the pediatric vaccination began last October 15.
“Given the success of the first phase of the vaccination program where there was insignificant adverse effect among the 4,640 minors vaccinated, we decided to expand the vaccination program to more LGU hospitals so that more minors can benefit from it,” Malaya said.
Malaya was with Undersecretary Roger Tong-an of the Department of Health (DOH), Dr. Gloria Balboa of the Metro Manila Center for Health Development (MM-CHD), Dr. Ted Herbosa and Dr. Paz Corales of the National Task Force-COVID 19 and Mayors Francis Zamora, Edwin Olivarez, and Joy Belmonte in the ceremonial vaccination of minors in select hospitals in the National Capital Region (NCR).
The ceremonial vaccinations were held at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center for San Juan residents, Ospital ng Parañaque for Parañaque residents and Quezon City General Hospital for Quezon City residents.
“We are holding the vaccinations initially in hospitals so that the vaccination for minors will be closely monitored by medical staff in order to detect adverse events, if any, following immunization to ensure their safety. If there are adverse effects, they can immediately be attended to since they are already in the hospital or in a vaccination site near a hospital,” he added.
Malaya noted that the additional hospitals now doing pediatric vaccinations are Caloocan City Medical Center (North and South), Ospital ng Malabon, Navotas City Hospital, Valenzuela City Emergency Hospital, Marikina Sports Complex which is near Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center, Quezon City General Hospital, St. Luke’s Medical Center Quezon City, Ospital ng Maynila, Ospital ng Makati, SM Megamall Mega Vaccination Site which is near Mandaluyong City Medical Center, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Ospital ng Muntinlupa, Ospital ng Parañaque 1, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, Pasay City General Hospital and St. Luke’s Medical Center – Global City to cater to the Municipality of Pateros.
The DILG spokesperson added that they expect to expand the pediatric vaccination to regular vaccination sites outside of hospitals and to the regions by next month.
Malaya disclosed that phase 2 of the pediatric vaccination is a big step towards reaching population protection.
“Under Oplan Vax to Max, we aim to increase our daily vaccination rate from 500,000 jabs a day to 1-1.5 million jabs a day. With 38 million doses now available and more coming in the future, this is achievable with the help of the LGUs,” he added.
In Metro Manila, 9.1 million or 93.3 percent have received the first dose while 7.9 million or 81.4 percent were administered with the full doses for a total of 17 million vaccines injected.
Nationwide, 28.9 million or 37.5 percent have received the first dose while 24.8 million or 32.25 percent are fully vaccinated.
A total of 53.8 million doses have been administered since the start of the national vaccination program.
“Our LGUs have proven that they increase the jab rate if supply is available. Now that supply has stabilized, we have increased our jab targets. It’s doable,” Malaya disclosed. (Chito A. Chavez)