Davao studying guidelines for inclusion of children in COVID vaccination program

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 October) – The local government is now reviewing the guidelines from the Department of Health (DOH) national office for the inclusion of children aged 12 to 17 years old without comorbidities in the vaccination program against COVID-19, the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force announced Friday.

A medical worker extracts a dose of Pfizer vaccine during the vaccination rollout for senior citizens at the covered court of Brokenshire Hospital in Davao City on Thursday (20 May 2021). Mindanews Photo

Dr. Michelle Schlosser, spokesperson for the task force, told Davao City Disaster Radio 87.5 that the DOH on Friday gave the local government a directive to expand the coverage of inoculation to minors not belonging to priority list A3 or persons with comorbidities.

But she added that the local government has yet to announce the start of the rollout for other minors.

“We cannot disclose it (date) yet. Just this morning, we received the guidelines. Once we have reviewed and finalized the plan, we will share that to the public so that the public will understand and the rollout will be easier for both children with or without comorbidities,” she added.

A ceremonial vaccination for pediatric A3 population was held on Friday at the government-run Southern Philippines Medical Center.

Schlosser said the first batch of minors who received the anti-COVID-19 vaccines were children of the frontline workers at the hospital.

The vaccination for other children with comorbidities will begin on November 3 at the Davao Doctors Hospital, Metro Davao Medical and Research Center, and Seamen’s Hospital.

Schlosser said she hopes the parents will allow their children to get vaccinated against the virus.

She said the sites accept walk-ins.

According to DOH-Davao, the parents must bring on the day of vaccination a medical certificate detailing the child’s comorbidity, valid IDs of both the child and the parent or guardian, and any proof of filiation like a birth certificate.

The vaccine recipient must also be accompanied by the parent or guardian at the vaccination site.

The agency said children under A3 are those with underlying medical comorbidities and at risk of severe COVID-19. These are children identified with medical complexities, genetic conditions, neurologic conditions, metabolic or endocrine diseases, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, human immunodeficiency virus, or tuberculosis.

The city government reported that a total of 873,933 individuals have received the first dose with 773,647 of them fully vaccinated as of October 27.

The figure represents 64.7% of the 1,200,000 target to reach herd immunity. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)