DOH: Vaccination of 12-17 year-olds here to begin soon

About 18,000 young Catandunganons aged 12 to 17 years old may soon be vaccinated against COVID-19, following the launching of vaccination rollout for the pediatric population in the Bicol mainland last week.
During the ceremonial vaccination of Catanduanes State University (CatSU) students last Friday (Nov. 5, 2021), Dr. Robert John Aquino, provincial officer of the Department of Health (DOH) in Catanduanes, indicated that forthcoming rollout would begin with master listing of the qualified youth.
He later told the Tribune that the Rural Health Units in the 11 towns will take charge of the vaccination, with the actual jabs to begin once the province’s allocation of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for the 12-17 year-olds arrive.
In a separate interview, Provincial Health Officer II Dr. Franchette Amabella Panti informed that PHO III Dr. Hazel Palmes has already requested the DOH Center for Health Development Bicol to provide the guidelines for the pediatric vaccination rollout.
“We can proceed with the rollout once the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines authorized for use in the pediatric population arrive,” she disclosed. “But all we have now are the Sputnik for first doses and other vaccine brands intended for second doses.”
Last Friday, three DOH hospitals in the mainland – Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) in Legazpi City, the Bicol Medical Center (BMC) in Naga City and the Bicol Region General Hospital and Geriatric Medical Center (BRGHGMC) in Cabusao, Camarines Sur – commenced the vaccination of young Bicolanos.
In a news release, the DOH-CHD V said that the 12 to 17 year-old population, with or without comorbidities, will be given COVID-19 vaccination.
Based on the DOH Department Circular No. 2021-0464, a young individual with comorbidity must secure from their attending physician/pediatrician a medical certification detailing their ailment prior to their scheduled vaccination.
This certification will have to be presented by the vaccine and the accompanying parent/guardian at the registration area during the vaccination day, it added.
Among the comorbidities specified by the circular are medical complexities, genetic and neurological conditions, metabolic/endocrine diseases such as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, obesity with BMI greater than 95th percentile for age and height, HIV infection, tuberculosis, chronic respiratory diseases, kidney disorders, diseases of the liver, and immunocompromised state due to disease or treatment,
The DOH circular stated that master listing is not required; however pre-registration based on the procedure of the vaccination site is necessary to ensure ease in planning and determination of logistics, human resource and vaccine requirements.
The same circular requires the presentation of an original copy or certified true copy of the PSA birth certificate or a certification from the Local Civil Registrar. Secondary documents such as authenticated medical certificate, baptismal certificate, or school ID or records of the child may also be presented in lieu of the birth certificate, and valid ID cards.
At the Health Education and Informed ConsentAssent Area of the vaccination site, informed consent will have to be given and signed by the parent or guardian, with the assent to be given and signed by the vaccine recipient.
Without the signed informed consent of the parent/guardian or the assent of the vaccine recipient, the vaccination will be deferred.
However, in case the recipient cannot give assent due to neurological comorbidities and moderate to severe intellectual impairment, the parent or authorized parental substitute can sign on his/ger behalf.
Only two COVID-19 vaccines – Pfizer and Moderna – have been issued with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the pediatric population.
Based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Catanduanes Provincial Statistical Office, there were a total of 17,265 youths aged 12-17 years old in 2015,
Based on the four percent growth rate of the island’s population from 2015 to 2020, they would number about 18,000 today.

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