The Department of Health (DOH) encouraged parents of children ages five to 11 to have them vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as the government is set to open the vaccination program for the said age group starting Friday, Feb. 4.
“Gaya ng COVID-19 vaccines para sa adults and adolescents, ang pediatric vaccines ay ligtas, epektibo, at higit sa lahat libre po na ibibigay sa inyo ng ating gobyerno (Like the COVID-19 vaccines for adults and adolescents, pediatric vaccines are safe, effective, and these will be provided by the government for free),” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Friday, Jan. 28.
“Kaya sa ating mga magulang, wala po kayong dapat ipangamba at agaran niyo na pong ipa-rehistro ang inyong mga anak upang sila po ay mabakunahan na (To our parents, you have nothing to worry about. Immediately register your children so that they can be vaccinated),” she added.
Vergeire said that a program launch will be held in Metro Manila on Feb. 4 in hospitals such as the National Children’s Hospital, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, and the Philippine Heart Center. The vaccine that will be used for this age group was the one developed by Pfizer-BioNTech.
She also noted adverse events following immunization are rare. However, mild reactions can be expected such as muscle aches, low-grade fever, fatigue, injection site pain, and headache.
“Ito ay normal at karaniwang nawawala din sa loob ng dalawa o tatlong araw (It’s normal and usually disappears within two or three days),” she said.
“Batay sa isang pagsusuri sa United States ang COVID-19 vaccine para sa 5 to 11 years old ay may 91 percent efficacy. Lumabas din po sa nasabing pag-aaral na walang malubhang side effect ang COVID-19 vaccine (Based on a study in the United States, the COVID-19 vaccine for five to 11 years old has 91 percent efficacy. The study also showed that the COVID-19 vaccine did not have any serious side effects),” she added.
Walk-in vaccination discouraged
Vergeire urged parents to register their children and check with their respective local government units or nearest inoculation centers for the schedule of vaccination.
The DOH is also discouraging walk-ins to avoid crowding in vaccination sites.
“Hinihikayat po namin iwasan ang pag walk-in at magparehistro upang maiwasan ang pag o-overcrowd sa ating health center na maaaring magdulot ng pagkalat ng virus (We are discouraging walk-ins to avoid overcrowding in our health centers— as this could cause the spread of the virus),” said Vergeire.
The child must be accompanied by his or her parent or guardian on vaccination day, said Vergeire.
Parents or guardians must present documents to the vaccination centers that show their relationship to the child and identification cards.
If parents cannot accompany their children, the guardian must present a special power of attorney (SPA). If this document is unavailable, they need to bring a notarized authorization, letter of affidavit, or a certification from their barangay captain, said Vergeire.