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  • When Will Kids Ages 12 To 17 Have Access To The COVID-19 Vaccine?

    This, as the City of Manila opens vaccine registration to minors aged 12 to 17 years old.
    by Czainnah Gajito .
When Will Kids Ages 12 To 17 Have Access To The COVID-19 Vaccine?
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/nednapa
  • On Friday, September 10, 2021, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno announced that minors aged 12 to 17 years old and who are residents of the city can already register for the COVID-19 vaccine. 

    The news comes after the Food and Drug Administration cleared Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use on minors on September 3, a few months after Pfizer's BioNTech vaccine was given approval in June.

    Moreno said the city will proceed with the online registration even if it is unclear when exactly the national government would allow the age group to get the vaccine. 

    This might be welcome news for parents who are worried about the rising cases of COVID-19 in children, especially with the more infectious Delta variant already in the Philippines. Just today, September 11, the country saw a record-high 26,303 new cases.

     With the Delta variant affecting a lot of children, nakita po ng ating mga expert that the benefit of using the vaccine outweighs the risk,” FDA Director General Eric Domingo said on the approval of the Moderna vaccine for children between 12 to 17 years old last September 3.

    When will children ages 12 to 17 get the COVID-19 vaccine?

    On its Facebook page, the Department of Health (DOH) released answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding COVID-19 vaccines for minors. The agency said that while approval for emergency use is already authorized, they will not yet vaccinate this age group.

    “To date, vaccination of children aged 17 years old and below is not yet allowed in the country. The government will first vaccinate those who are 18 years old and above, who are part of the priority groups A1 to A5, because they remain at relatively higher risk,” according to the FAQ.

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    Why is the government vaccinating only the A1 to A5 groups?

    As to why the government is prioritizing A1 to A5 groups, the DOH reiterates that “we need to prioritize individuals most at risk for severe COVID-19 while waiting for enough vaccine supply for the entire population.”

    Can children ages 12 to 17 years old with comorbidities get vaccinated?

    Not yet, according to the DOH. The announcement made clear that the vaccination scheme will be followed despite having a population of children aged 12 to 17 years old with comorbidities. “This is to prioritize those with higher risk of severe disease and death,” the agency said.

    How do I protect my kids against COVID-19?

    One of the best ways parents can protect their children from COVID-19 and its variants is to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is made available to them. They can become a 'shield' for their kids against the virus.

    “Register with your LGU (local government unit) and get vaccinated when it’s your turn and continue to follow minimum public health standards (mask, iwas, hugas, daloy ng hangin),” it reminded.

    According to experts from the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP), children who are hospitalized due to COVID-19 usually don't need extraordinary measures.

    “Children contribute a smaller number of severe COVID-19 cases and deaths than adults,” sats Dr. Mary Ann Bunyi, PIDSP President. “in terms of disease severity, COVID-19 tends to be more severe in children with underlying medical conditions,” Dr. Bunyi adds.

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    As we wait for minors to be vaccinated against the disease, we should also ensure that they are healthy and up-to-date with their vaccinations, including the flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine. This will keep them from being immunocompromised or develop comorbidities.

    Kids under 3 years old spread COVID-19 'more easily' in their homes. Click here to read.

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