MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Wednesday called on the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 to avoid walk-ins and prevent crowding in vaccination sites when the pilot inoculation for minors begins on October 15.
“I would discourage the NTF from doing a first-come, first-served walk-in type of arrangement,” Gatchalian said during a Senate panel hearing on the pilot testing of limited face-to-face classes that also discussed the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to minors.
“We don’t allow a walk-in type of arrangement dahil talagang mag-iipon-ipon ang mga tao, especially now that the weather condition is unpredictable at maya’t maya ay umuulan. Let’s not do a walk-in type of arrangement because that will really spell disaster at the end,” he added, referring to the experience of Valenzuela City, which strictly imposed vaccination schedules to avoid overcrowding in vaccination sites.
The government is poised to begin administering COVID-19 vaccines to minors aged 12 to 17 with comorbidities. They are listed in the Pediatric A3 category and will be the first to receive their COVID-19 vaccines.
Children of healthcare workers will also be given priority in pediatric vaccination against COVID-19.
“It’s about time that we vaccinate our teenagers and we support the prioritization of teenagers with comorbidities,” Gatchalian said.
What we’re driving at is that we don’t want a scenario wherein they will be lining up in those eight hospitals. Kawawa naman ang mga batang ito sa ganung sitwasyon,” he added.
Eight hospitals so far have been designated for the first phase of pediatric vaccination. These include the National Children’s Hospital, Philippine Heart Center, Pasig City Children’s Hospital, Fe Del Mundo Medical Center, Philippine General Hospital, Makati Medical Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig, and Philippine Children’s Medical Center.
The vaccine rollout in hospitals will begin with the 15-17 age group followed by minors aged 12-14.
The government will be using Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for the vaccination of this age group, as these were granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.