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Pediatric vaccination to continue on Nov. 3

Photo by Bing Gonzales

THE PEDIATRIC vaccination for individuals aged between 12 to 17 years old with existing health conditions kicked off on Oct. 29 at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC).

In his message, on behalf of Davao City Health Office (CHO) head Ashley Lopez and Davao City Vaccination Cluster Head Dr. Josephine Villafuerte, Dr. Aldrich So extended gratitude to the city’s partners in its vaccination program from the rollout in March and now, with the start of the vaccination for children.

“[We] would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our partners for the vaccination program since day one. I’d like to add, it’s not just only momentous or historical event for SPMC but also for Davao City and the Davao Region,” So said.

As of Oct. 28, the city’s vaccination cluster has recorded a total of 882,818 individuals who have been fully vaccinated while 788,001 have been injected with the first dose. 

The city targets to inoculate 1.2 million of its 1.8 million population before the end of November. 

“It is still a far run to go before we reach herd immunity. But still, we are positive because we have so many partners who are doing the vaccination program. It’s not only our hospitals, it’s not only SPMC but also we have partners from the private sector. We have our private hospitals. It is very heartwarming to see other members of the private sectors who are doing the vaccination,” he said.

On the other hand, Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Secretary Dr. Roy Ferrer said the vaccination was initiated under the mandate of the national government upon the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Philippine Pediatric Society, and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines, which approved the inoculation of kids aged 12 to 17 years old with comorbidities.

He underscored that the children will only receive vaccines that have been given emergency use authority (EUA) by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the “pediatric population” namely Pfizer and Moderna.

“To vaccinate is to protect. As we pursue to protect our children, we are protecting our loved ones. To our dear parents and guardians, I highly encourage you to get your children and yourselves vaccinated. Together with the medical experts, doctors, we assure everyone that vaccines are safe and effective. Getting vaccinated has no disadvantages,” Ferrer said.

Likewise, DOH-Davao regional director Dr. Annabelle Yumang said that as of Oct. 28, they have already received the interim guidelines for the vaccination of children ages 12 to 17 years old. She added that the vaccination for all children within the same age bracket will start from November 3 onwards.

Yumang said that children are also considered vulnerable to COVID-19 infection considering that most of the cases reported are household transmission. Thus, the vaccination will help them get protection against the adverse effect of the virus.

In Davao Region, they target to vaccinate a total of 620,216 children who belong to this age group. 

SPMC Medical Center chief Dr. Ricardo Audan also encouraged the children and their parents and guardians to visit the vaccination sites and get protected through getting the Anti-COVID-19 shots.

Alexius Elorde, 17 years old and a resident of Maa, Davao City, encouraged fellow teenagers to avail of the vaccination program to protect themselves from the ill effects of the virus. He is one of the minors who received the jab during the ceremonial vaccination. Having asthma, he said that he wanted to get vaccinated as to not aggravate his condition should he contract the virus.

Elorde shared that his mother, who is a medical practitioner at SPMC, has also influenced him to get the vaccine – knowing its efficacy and benefits for him.

Meanwhile, the vaccinees have to coordinate with the hospitals or pediatricians for the schedule of their vaccination. They must also bring with them a medical certificate from their pediatrician/physician that indicates the underlying comobirdtiy of the minor, informed consent of the parents, proof of the relationship of the parent to their children; and valid ID for both the minor and the parent.

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