Vaccination of children with comorbidities to start by end-October in Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 14 October) – The vaccination of children aged 12 to 17 with comorbidities against COVID-19 is expected to start in the next two weeks in Davao City, a local health official said.

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 Davao City COVID-19 Task Force, said over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Wednesday that the regional rollout will start only after the pilot run of COVID-19 vaccination in select hospitals in the National Capital Region, which will start on October 15.

She said it’s possible to start vaccinating 12- to 17-year-olds belonging to the A3 category or persons with comorbidities either on the last week of this month or first week of November once the pilot is completed.

In a statement released on September 29, the Department of Health said there must be “informed consent by the parent/guardian and child prior to vaccination; supply of Pfizer and Moderna, the only vaccines with emergency use authorization for 12- to 17-year-olds issued by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration; more importantly, equitable access to medical clearance by a physician for children with comorbidities.”

From October 6 to 8, the Davao Region received a total of 1,136,070 doses of Pfizer, of which 994,500 doses were donated by the US government through the COVAX Facility.

Schlosser added the local government was still discussing the rollout of vaccination for the general population.

“That’s the reason why it’s advisable to close any vaccination site because if we are going to open it to the general public, we are expecting more recipients of the vaccine. There’s no date yet as to the rollout for the general public but definitely the vaccination cluster is talking about it,” she said.

She said the local government was not keen on making the vaccination mandatory or restricting the movement of the unvaccinated population to control the spread of the infection.

“As of the moment, we’re not entertaining it. It’s difficult to implement because we have yet to achieve herd immunity. We cannot force people to get vaccinated,” she said.

But she urged the public to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

She said the local government is adopting Resolution No. 142 issued this month by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, which shortened the quarantine period of fully vaccinated individuals who have contacts with confirmed cases to seven days from 14 days. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)