Majority of kids aged 12-17 vaccinated vs COVID ahead of rollout to younger group
Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News
Posted at Jan 26 2022 01:33 PM
A health worker inspects the blood pressure of minors who just received their 2nd dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at the Ospital ng Tondo in Manila on Dec. 4, 2021 with the hospital accommodating both minors and adults scheduled for booster shots as the city continues its vaccination for residents. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
MANILA - Majority or 58 percent of minors aged 12 to 17 have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of the jab rollout for those aged 5 to 11 next week, according to the Department of Health.
The country began administering vaccines to the 12-17 age group in October
, beginning with those suffering from underlying medical conditions. The government aims to vaccinate 10.7 million in the said group.
Children with preexisting illnesses are at a higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease, according to Dr. Mary Ann Bunyi, president of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines.
"Most cases have been mild. But some patients have turned into severe with critical manifestations. Some have developed complications like multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MISC-C)," she told reporters in a virtual forum Wednesday.
The DOH has recorded 396,730 virus cases among those aged 19 and below, said Bunyi, who is also a member of the national immunization technical advisory group for COVID-19 vaccination.
The most common symptoms were fever and cough, followed by shortness of breath, sore throat, diarrhea, myalgia, fatigue, rhinorrhea, vomiting, nasal congestion, conjunctivitis, rash, and loss of sense of smell and taste.
Aside from preventing COVID-19 infection among children, the vaccines could provide" safer in-house learning" and protect from further disruption of classes, Bunyi said.
It can also reduce "likelihood of viral transmission as modelers will consider contribution of children in community transmission."
"Ito pong COVID-19 vaccine na ipamamahagi ng ating pamahalaan ay isang oportunidad para sa inyong pamilya na maprotektahan laban sa COVID-19," she said.
(The COVID-19 vaccine that government will distribute is an opportunity for your family to be protected against COVID-19.)
"Para rin naman makalabas na sila, pumasok sa eskuwelahan, makapaglaro na rin sila kasama ang kanilang mga kalaro dati."
(It's so children can go outside, go to school, and play with their friends.)
Ninety-four percent of adverse reactions reported in children aged 12 to 17 inoculated against the coronavirus were mild, said Bunyi, citing data from the Food and Drug Administration.
"Sa mga pagaaagam-agam natin, hindi po magbibigay ang pamahalaan natin ng 'di mabisa at 'di ligtas sa lahat," she said.
(As for our doubts, government will not give vaccines that are not safe and not effective for all.)
The Philippines as of Tuesday has fully vaccinated 57.8 million people, while 59.98 million others have received an initial dose, and 6.68 million booster shots have been administered, according to the DOH.
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