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  • May Side Effects Ba? DOH Answers Your Questions About COVID-19 Vaccine For Minors

    Including an updated list of hospitals where they can get the vaccine.
    by Czainnah Gajito .
May Side Effects Ba? DOH Answers Your Questions About COVID-19 Vaccine For Minors
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/adriaticfoto
  • [UPDATE, October 27, 2021, 4:19 p.m.] All minors aged 12 to 17 can now get their COVID-19 vaccinations nationwide starting November 3, 2021, according to the Department of Health.

    Earlier, Sec. Carlito Galvez, the Philippines' vaccine czar told CNN Philippines that nationwide rollout would start on November 5.

    Guidelines for nationwide rollout are being drafted, according to Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire. On Friday, October 29, 50 more hospitals all over the country will be added to the list of hospitals catering to pediatric vaccinations.

    Original story follows

    Phase 2 of pediatric vaccination or COVID-19 vaccination for kids started today, October 22, 2021, where every city and municipality in Metro Manila will have at least one hospital that will administer the vaccines to kids ages 12 to 17, according to the Department of Health

    As of October 19, 3,416 minors have been vaccinated, according to reportr. They are classified under “Pediatric A3,” where children with comorbidities are prioritized.

    Frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 vaccination of kids ages 12 to 17

    If you're a parent who wants his or her child to get the COVID-19 vaccine but still have qualms regarding the process, the DOH recently held a webinar to answer frequently asked questions regarding the vaccination of minors.

    Who is eligible?

    Only children ages 12 to 17 with comorbidities living in NCR are eligible to get vaccinated in Phase 2. Vaccine rollout for children without comorbidities will begin once vaccination of pediatric A3 is completed. (Click here for the planned phases of pediatric vaccination)

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    What COVID-19 vaccine brand will they receive?

    Children who are eligible to receive the vaccine will be vaccinated with either Pfizer BioNtech or Moderna. Both these brands have received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Philippine Food and Drug Administration.

    What comorbidities fall under Pediatric A3?

    The Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP) have endorsed the following list of comorbidities to the DOH:

    1. Medical complexity: long term dependence on technical support e.g. tracheostomy associated with developmental delay and/or genetic anomalies.

    2. Genetic conditions like Down syndrome, G6PD, and other genetic disorders affecting the immune system such as primary immunodeficiency disorders, thalassemia, and other chromosomal abnormalities

    3. Neurologic conditions: seizure disorder, autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), cerebral palsy, stroke in the young, chronic meningitis e.g. tuberculosis, chronic neuromuscular diseases, and chronic demyelinating diseases

    4. Metabolic/endocrine diseases: diabetes mellitus (DM), hypothyroidism, diabetes insipidus (DI), adrenal insufficiency, hypopituitarism, and other hereditary metabolic diseases.

    5. Cardiovascular diseases: hypertension, congenital heart diseases (CHDs), cardiomyopathy, rheumatic heart Disease (RHD), mitral valve disease, pulmonary hypertension with heart failure

    6. Obesity: BMI is over 95th percentile for age and height

    7. HIV infection

    8. Tuberculosis: pulmonary (collapse/consolidations, with empyema, and miliary), extrapulmonary, (pleural effusion, pericarditis, abdominal, genitourinary, central nervous system, spinal column, bone, joint, cutaneous, ocular and breast), and disseminated (involvement of two (2) or more organs).

    9. Chronic respiratory diseases: chronic lung diseases (bronchiectasis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, chronic aspiration pneumonia), congenital respiratory malformation, restrictive lung diseases, neuromuscular disorders, syndromic with hypotonia, skeletal disorders, chronic upper and lower airway obstruction (severe obstructive sleep apnea, tracheomalacia, stenosis, bronchial asthma).

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    10. Renal disorders: chronic kidney diseases, nephrotic syndrome, end-stage renal disease (ESRD), patients on dialysis and continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), glomerulonephritis (e.g. lupus nephritis),hydronephrosis

    11. Hepatobiliary disease: chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, malabsorption syndrome.

    12. Immunocompromised due to disease or treatment: bone marrow or stem cell transplant patients, solid organ transplant recipients, haematological malignancies (leukemia, anemia, thalassemia), cancer patients on chemotherapy, severe aplastic anemia, autoimmune or autoinflammatory disorders requiring long-term immunosuppressive therapy (e.g. systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis), patients receiving immune-modulating biological therapy (e.g. anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF), rituximab, among others), patients receiving long-term systemic steroids (more than one month], functional asplenia, patients who underwent splenectomy

    What will happen during vaccination of minors?

    There are 3 stages in the vaccination process: the waiting period, vaccination proper, and post-vaccination monitoring.

    Expect more stages under the vaccination proper including registration, the health education and informed consent, health screening, and vaccine administration. 

    Children must be accompanied by their parent or guardian. During the waiting period, you will be asked to present the documents needed. These include the medical certificate and proof of relationship with the child (you may present any valid ID).

    You will also be shown videos and health information materials about the COVID-19 vaccine in the health education area. Your child will also be screened in the health screening area and you will be asked to provide accurate information to the health provider.

    Based on their assessment, they will decide whether your child will be cleared to receive the vaccine or will be deferred. Make sure to ask your questions to the health provider if you have any.

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    Parents will need to sign an informed consent while the child will sign an assent form. Your child will not be coerced to receive the vaccine if they do not sign the assent form.

    At the vaccination area, the vaccinator will check the signed informed consent and assent form as well as the signed health screening form as cleared by the health screener or provider. The parent and child will be informed of the vaccine brand, doses required, and possible adverse effects following immunization (AEFI).

    After vaccination, proceed to the post-vaccination area for monitoring of any severe allergic reaction and anaphylaxis and get immdiate treatment if necessary. You and your child will need to wait at least 15 minutes if the child has no history of allergies or anaphylaxis. Children with history need to wait for at least 30 minutes.

    Will the child experience any side effects?

    The DOH stressed that the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risks. Severe COVID-19 or death due to COVID-19 usually happens because a person has not been vaccinated.

    After vaccination, AEFI may occur. This is normal and is similar to what adults will experience when they get the COVID-19 vaccine. These AEFI include:

    • pain
    • redness
    • itchiness or swelling on vaccine site
    • fatigue
    • joints and muscle pain
    • heavy and uneasy feeling
    • fever and chills
    • headache

    According to DOH, the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine may have specific side effects including:

    • increase in blood pressure
    • fever
    • headache
    • cough
    • swelling or redness on the vaccine site
    • dizziness
    • rashes
    • weakness
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    These can be seen as signs that your child's immune system is responding to the vaccine. These symptoms are expected to pass after 1 to 3 days. 

    What if there are no side effects?

    If your child does not experience any side effect, don't worry because this is also normal.

    What should you do if your child experiences side effects?

    If your child experiences any side effects, report it immediately at the vaccination site or your local government unit (LGU). Upon receipt of your report, the indicated AEFI will be checked and brought to epidemiology and surveillance units (ESU).

    For common AEFI, you may also do the following:

    • apply cold compress on the area where the vaccine was administere
    • exercise the arm where the vaccine was administered
    • drink lots of water
    • rest
    • eat a balanced diet
    • if prescribed by your child's pediatrician or physician, take paracetamol

    For serious AEFI, a case investigation will immediately be conducted and there will be a panel of experts who will do a Causality Assessment using your child’s medical records and other scientific studies overseas. The Causality Assessment will determine whether or not the AEFI that your child experienced was caused by the vaccine or if further studies are needed.

    If your child experiences AEFI, you may approach the Malasakit Centers or the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for any of your financial and medical needs.

    You may also avail of the PhilHealth COVID-19 Vaccine Injury Compensation Package (VICP) if your child experiences serious AEFI that is proven to be caused by the vaccine based on the studies or evaluation of health experts. You can go to the nearest PhilHealth office to submit the needed documents for the said package. Requirements can be downloaded at philhealth.gov.ph.

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    You may report AEFI until a year within your child’s vaccination.  You may report it to your:

    • doctor
    • hospital
    • the DOH
    • LGU
    • vaccination site
    • FDA website at www.fda.gov.ph/covid-19-vaccine-report-a-side-effect

    What documents do I need to bring at the vaccination site?

    Prepare the following:

    your child's medical certificate issued by their attending pediatrician or physician with complete details of comorbidity/ies, plus assessment whether or not the child can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Secure it before your child's vaccination schedule
    any document that shows the relationship of the child with the parent or guardian (e.g. birth certificate or valid IDs)

    How can I register my child for COVID-19 vaccination?

    You may contact your child’s pediatrician or hospital to schedule your child’s vaccination.

    Where can my child get vaccinated? 

    There are now 24 hospitals where children ages 12 to 17 can get vaccinated. These include:

    Caloocan

    • Caloocan City North Medical Center
    • Caloocan City Medical Center (South)

    Malabon

    • Ospital ng Malabon/Oreta Sports Complex

    Navotas

    • Navotas City Hospital

    Valenzuela

    • Valenzuela City Emergency Hospital

    Pasig

    • Pasig City General Hospital

    Marikina

    • Marikina Sports Complex (Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center)

    Taguig

    • St. Luke's Medical Center (BGC)

    Quezon City

    • Philippine Heart Center
    • Philippine Children's Medical Center
    • National Children Hospital
    • Fe Del Mundo Medical Center
    • Quezon City General Hospital
    • St. Lukes Medical Center (QC)

    City of Manila

    • Philippine General Hospital
    • Ospital ng Maynila

    Makati

    • Makati Medical Center
    • Ospital ng Makati

    Mandaluyong

    • SM Megamall Mega Vaccination Site (MCMC)

    San Juan

    • Cardinal Santos Medical Center

    Muntinlupa

    • Ospital ng Muntinlupa

    Paranaque

    • Ospital ng Paranaque
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    Las Pinas

    • University of Perpetual Help Dalta System

    Pasay

    • Pasay City General Hospital

    What else should we prepare on vaccination day?

    Wearing of face masks and face shields are still required. Bring alcohol, water, and your child's personal needs such as theri medication and snacks.

    Expect a lot of waiting so make sure that their routine like taking their medicine or eating food will still be followed.

    Make sure to talk to the health workers or doctors at the vaccination site about any questions you have and if possible, get their contact number so you can contact them easily in case of any AEFI or emergencies after your child has received the vaccine.

    This article was updated on October 27 at 4:19 p.m.

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