Registration, requirements: What you need to know about nationwide COVID-19 vaccination of older kids

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 28) — The Department of Health on Thursday laid down the requirements and other details of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination of children aged 12-17 beginning next week.

DOH Undersecretary and National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) chairperson Myrna Cabotaje said the vaccination of all minors in that age group — regardless of their health status — will start November 3 in Metro Manila. It will be rolled out in the rest of the country on November 5.

Requirements

A child who will be vaccinated needs to be accompanied by a parent or a guardian with the documentation requirement to prove their relationship. The only allowed guardians are parents, grandparents, siblings over 21 years old, or heads of orphanages or children's homes.

The parent/guardian must give consent and the child must agree to the vaccination. The child must also present an identification card or a birth certificate.

Local government units (LGUs) have opened their pre-registration process, but Cabotaje said they may also allow walk-in vaccinees.

Vaccination site

DOH said all vaccination sites can be used to inoculate children, but it must have a big enough space to accommodate the vaccinee and the guardians. They should ideally be allotted a separate lane or room to ensure their safety.

LGUs must also ensure they can respond immediately and appropriately if a child experiences side effects after vaccination. Cabotaje suggested that children with comorbidities be vaccinated in hospital vaccination sites or a site near a health center to ensure quick response in case of adverse side effects.

"Hindi pwede gamitin ang pang-adult na pang-response. Ang emergency equipment, iba ang pangbata at pang-adult," the official said.

[Translation: The response for adults and children are different. Different kind of emergency equipment are used.]

A total of 23,727 children with co-morbidities aged 12-17 have received their first dose of Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine since the start of the phased rollout on Oct. 15. DOH said 25 reported side effects, with three serious cases.

Timeline

Cabotaje said pediatric vaccination will not coincide with the plan to administer third shots to healthcare workers and immunocompromised individuals.

"Hindi siya sasabay sa [It will not be at the same time as the] pediatric rollout," Cabotaje said.

The government hopes to vaccinate 80% of the 12.72 million children aged 12-17 by December.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. also earlier bared plans to administer additional shots to vulnerable sectors starting November, but the DOH is waiting for the World Health Organization Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (WHO SAGE) to issue its guidance and for the Food and Drug Administration to approved the amended emergency use authorization.

The pediatric vaccination currently covers children with co-morbidities aged 12 to 17 in select vaccination sites in Metro Manila. It will be rolled out in 123 vaccination sites across the nation on Friday, according to the NVOC.