Muntinlupa starts vaccinating minors

Published October 25, 2021, 3:13 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

The Muntinlupa City government on Monday started the vaccination of minors aged 12 to 17 with comorbidities.

The vaccination of minors, classified as Pediatric A3 group, kicked off at the city-run Ospital ng Muntinlupa (OsMun), the sole venue in Muntinlupa designated by the Department of Health (DOH) as one of the pilot hospitals for the inoculation.

According to Dr. Edwin Dimatatac, OsMun medical director, the first minor to be vaccinated in Muntinlupa was 17-year-old Natalia Danielle Antonino Palma from Brgy. Ayala Alabang who has allergic rhinitis and asthma.

17-year-old Natalia Danielle Antonino (center) from Brgy. Ayala Alabang, who has allergic rhinitis and asthma, is the first minor to be vaccinated in Muntinlupa. With her are
Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, OsMun Medical Director Dr. Edwin Dimatatac, and DOH and city officials (Muntinlupa PIO)

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi urged parents and guardians to register their children with the Muntinlupa City COVID-19 Vaccination Program (MunCoVac) as protection from the adverse effect of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

According to DOH Department Circular 2021-0464, the following comorbidities of 12 to 17-year-olds are eligible for pediatric vaccination: medical complexity, genetic conditions, neurologic conditions, metabolic/endocrine diseases, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, HIV infection, tuberculosis, chronic respiratory diseases, renal disorders, hepatobiliary diseases and immunocompromised state due to disease or treatment.

MunCoVac stated that only Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines will be used in the vaccination of minors. The two vaccines were earlier approved by the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in people 12 years old and above.

As of Oct. 25, a total of 14,896 12 to 17-year-olds have registered in Muntinlupa, or 27 percent of the estimated population of 55,391 for the age group. Of the 14,896 registered minors, 555, or 3.7 percent, have comorbidities.

In a press briefing on Oct. 25, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that as of Oct. 24, 9,928 minors with comorbidities have been vaccinated. Of the total, 10 were recorded to have reactions to the vaccine. Three had allergic reactions “but were all managed,” three had anxiety-related reactions, and four had minor reactions, including pain in the vaccination area.

“So far, we don’t have serious, adverse reactions that were noted. But, of course, we are still monitoring these children,” she added.

According to MunCoVac, the scheduling of minors for vaccination will be based on the timestamp of registration under its system.

MunCoVac will send a text message indicating the appointment of the minor for vaccination. Only minors who are registered with MunCoVac will be scheduled for COVID-19 vaccination.

It said the requirements for the vaccination of minors are DOH medical certificate, valid ID of the minor and the parents/guardians, proof of filiation “or relationship between the minor and the accompanying adult or other supporting document proving authority to give informed consent or assent” and vaccination card of parents or guardians (if they are already vaccinated).

To secure a DOH medical certificate, one can get a medical clearance from the pediatrician of the minor. This needs to be presented to the OsMuN outpatient department pediatrician for the issuance of a DOH medical certificate.

According to the DOH, after vaccination, the minor will need to “stay for post-vaccination monitoring in case of any severe allergic reaction and anaphylaxis and for immediate treatment. For 15 minutes if without any known allergies or history of anaphylaxis, and for 30 minutes if with known allergies or history of anaphylaxis.”