PH starts second phase of COVID-19 pediatric vaccination
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has commenced the second phase of the pilot implementation of the pediatric A3 COVID-19 vaccination, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.
The rollout of the campaign in the entire National Capital Region was marked by a ceremonial vaccination held at Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Ospital ng Paranaque and Quezon City General Hospital.
The DOH said that the vaccinations are currently being held in selected hospitals as the expansion will be conducted in phases.
The DOH, NVOC and local government units chose the vaccination sites or hospitals for the initial phases, which have the capacity to manage possible serious adverse reactions to vaccines and facilitate easy referral of patients.
The government is implementing Pediatric A3 vaccination in a phased approach in order to formulate strategies on how it will be rolled out to other regions, and possibly to regular vaccination sites, the DOH said.
“As with the vaccination process of the adults, the vaccination for children will be closely monitored to detect adverse events following immunization to ensure the safety of our young vaccine recipients,” said Health Undersecretary Tong-An during the ceremonial vaccination at Cardinal Santos Medical Center.
For phase 2, the following facilities have been added to the initial list of vaccination sites:
- Caloocan City Medical Center (North and South)
- Ospital ng Malabon
- Navotas City Hospital
- Valenzuela City Emergency Hospital
- Marikina Sports Complex (near Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center)
- Quezon City General Hospital
- Luke’s Medical Center Quezon City
- Ospital ng Maynila
- Ospital ng Makati
- SM Megamall Mega Vaccination Site (near Mandaluyong City Medical Center)
- Cardinal Santos Medical Center
- Ospital ng Muntinlupa
- Ospital ng Parañaque 1
- University of Perpetual Help System Dalta
- Pasay City General Hospital
St. Luke’s Medical Center – Global City will also cater to the Municipality of Pateros, the DOH said.
The DOH reminded those covered in the Pediatric A3 Group to first secure a vaccination schedule with the hospital and bring the following documents on the day of vaccination:
- medical certificate detailing the child’s comorbidity
- valid IDs of both the child and the parent or guardian
- any proof of filiation like the birth certificate
The vaccine recipient must also be accompanied by the parent or guardian at the vaccination site, it added.
PNP backs DOH’s recommendation to keep PH under COVID-19 Alert Level 2
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has expressed support to the recommendation of the Department of Health (DOH) to keep the country under Alert Level 2 amid the declining cases of coronavirus infection.
In a statement, PNP chief Police General Dionardo Carlos said the existing alert status in the country should not be downgraded yet due to the looming threat of the newly discovered Omicron COVID-19 variant.
“The time isn’t ripe yet since it’s the holiday season and we have observed more people becoming complacent to go outdoors, disregarding health protocol, and unmindful of the risks,” he said.
He also believes that a shift to a more relaxed quarantine level will affect the compliance of the public to minimum health standards.
Carlos, however, said that the PNP will abide by decision that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases on the implementation of COVID-19 alert levels system.
“The local government units are vested the authority to issue Executive Orders that police personnel are duty bound to enforce,” he said.
Metro Manila is under Alert Level 2 until December 15. Other areas in the country have also been placed under the same level.
The DOH earlier said that the IATF is still discussing whether or not to lower the alert level in the capital region.
PH gov’t eyeing to administer 7 million COVID-19 jabs in second vaccination drive
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is aiming to administer seven million COVID-19 vaccine jabs for the second round of nationwide vaccination drive, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Tuesday.
The second mass immunization campaign is scheduled from December 15 to 17.
“Ang tina-target natin dito, mga 7 million para second dose, para maabot yung ating pinupuntiryang 54 million by the end of the year na bigyan ng kumpletong bakuna,” Duque said in a televised public briefing.
This target is lower than the first vaccination drive conducted last November 29 to December 1 and later extended until December 3.
The government had hoped to inoculate 9 million people during the first three-day immunization campaign. More than 10 million were vaccinated in the extended drive.
The vaccination drive was launched in a bid to scale up the country’s vaccination rate to achieve population protection against COVID-19.
So far, more than 38 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated out of the 91.7 million doses administered since the immunization was rolled out in March.
The number of individuals who have received their first dose rose to 56.7 million.
The government is aiming to fully vaccinate at least 54 million by the end of the year.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier expressed hope that the second vaccination drive will also be successful.
“We will have a second round of Bayanihan Bakunahan from December 15 to 17. I hope that we would have the same success. But this time lesser because parang naubos na natin ang Pilipino sa ‘yung what counts sa bakuna kaya medyo there’s a slowdown of the COVID-19,” he said.
He also expressed optimism that the Philippines will be able to overcome the pandemic amid increasing vaccination rate in the country.
Duterte offers DOH Secy post to OCTA fellow
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has offered OCTA Research fellow Nicanor Austriaco the top post in the Department of Health (DOH) to replace Secretary Francisco Duque III.
During his weekly Talk to the People that aired late Monday, Duterte asked Austriaco if he is open to being designated as the new health chief.
“I would be happy to appoint you as the Secretary of Health. If that is okay with you,” he said after Austriaco finished his presentation on the Omicron COVID-19 variant during the public briefing.
Austriaco declined the offer.
“No po. Secretary Duque is doing a fine job po and he’s a Thomasian po,” he said.
Duterte pressed on with his offer, saying Duque has been asking to be replaced.
“He has shown — he vents a desire really to rest, you know, after all this ruckus against him,” the president said. “Sabi ko I’ve been forcing him to stay but he would be happy to give way to you, I’m sure.”
“Yes, Mr. President, to another Thomasian,” Duque chimed in.
Austriaco, a priest and a molecular biologist, is also part of the team developing the Philippines’ first vaccine against COVID-19.