Expert urges public to get vaccinated vs Covid-19 to protect kids under 5

Published May 25, 2022, 2:09 PM

by Analou de Vera

A medical worker prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles, California, the United States, June 18, 2021. (Xinhua/ FILE/ MANILA BULLETIN)

A pediatric infectious disease expert urged all eligible Filipinos to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to protect children below five-years-old.

“Kung hindi natin mababakunahan yung mga below five, ay siguraduhin sana natin na yung mga kasama nila sa bahay ay fully protected (If we cannot vaccinate those below five-years-old, let’s make sure that those with them at home are fully protected),” said Dr. Anna Ong-Lim, a pediatrician and a member of the Department of Health’s (DOH) technical advisory group.

“It is our responsibility that we’re protected so we’ll also [be] protecting them,” she added.

Children aged four-years-old and below are not yet eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, noted Ong-Lim.

“Marami sa mga bata ay hindi bakunado kasi hindi pa sila nagqua-qualify. Wala pa naman tayong produkto na linsensyado para sa (Several children are not vaccinated because they are not qualified yet. We still don’t have a licensed product for those) below five years-old, which only highlights the need for the people around these kids to really optimize their protection,” said Ong-Lim.

“Let’s remember na lahat tayo nagpapabakuna (that we all get vaccinated) not just for our own protection but also to protect other people around us…Tandaan din natin, paano yung mga batang maliliit. Kawawa nga naman sila kahit gusto natin sila pabakunahan wala silang pwedeng gamitin (Let’s also remember, what about the little kids? Unfortunately, even if we want to vaccinate them, there is no available vaccine for them),” she added.

To note, Filipinos aged five-years-old and above are already eligible for Covid-19 vaccination. More than 69 million individuals were already fully vaccinated, of which 13.8 million people received booster shots, the DOH said.