DELAYED DEPLOYMENT | Challenges faced in rolling out vax for 5-11 year olds – Mindanao Times

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LOGISTICAL challenges, including the late arrival of vaccines, have hampered the rollout of vaccination for children aged 5 to 11, a senior official said.

Dr. Michelle Schlosser, spokeswoman for the City COVID-19 task force, said over the weekend that the Department of Health issued a notice on Thursday about postponing the rollout of the program.

Schlosser also cited the postponement of the same deployment to the National Capital Region that was first reported to start the process Feb. 4.

“Naa gyud sya’y domino effect of course. Whenever vaccines are allocated, of course, all regions and other local government units will also be affected. So expect Davao to appear instead of pushing NATO on Monday for deployment in five to 11 year olds, dili gyud siguro na possible because we don’t have the vaccine yet,” she said. declared.

But the official welcomed the postponement as it would give the immunization cluster team more time to prepare for better implementation of the process. “Our po vaccination group team is really preparing for the deployment of na ma next week. We are pushing for the next week, but we are also depending on getting vaccines and vaccines in place along with special syringes for our five to 11 year olds,” she said.

The regional DOH office announced Friday that vaccination of children ages 5 to 11 in the region is scheduled to begin next Monday, February 14.

Dr. Janis Olavides, Immunization Campaign Manager for the DOH Regional Office, told a virtual press conference on Friday that they are stepping up the education campaign on the importance of immunization to encourage parents and loved ones to protect children in this age group from coronavirus disease (COVID-19)[FEMININE)

Olavides said the rollout would be necessary to protect students in this age group in view of the eventual reopening of face-to-face classes after two years of remote learning.

According to the DOH, Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccines have been granted emergency use authorization for children ages 5 to 11, while Moderna’s Comirnaty and Spikevax for minors ages 12 to 17.

Olavides said children ages 5 to 11 will receive the 0.2 milliliter (mL) and a higher 0.3 mL formulation for other age groups. For this reason, the regional DOH office will recommend a separate pathway for the younger age group to avoid mixing vaccines intended for the older population.

The target for the 5-11 age group is 790,236 in the region, she said as the rollout will begin in hospitals.

Schlosser added that in the city, the vaccination team is engaging tertiary hospitals for the deployment as the Southern Philippines Medical Center may not be able to join the activity as it struggles with the high numbers. of COVID-19 cases.

Other local governments are still in the planning stages of where to hold their respective vaccinations, Olavides said.

“I think some hospitals are still discussing whether they will also be part of the vaccination,” she said.

Risks vs Benefits

In a February 3 statement, the Filipino Alliance for Freedom and Informed Choice expressed concern over the government’s hasty decision to start vaccinating children without ensuring that the vaccines are safe for them.

“In line with our mission to advance the protection of children from COVID-19, we, the Filipino Alliance for Freedom and Informed Choice, argue that vaccinating our children against COVID-19 does not follow the principle established of making sure no harm is done first,” he said.

He added that vaccinating children against COVID-19 exposes them to risks that “far outweigh the expected benefits, especially since children are at extremely low risk of contracting this disease”.

The group said there was no justification “to rush vaccination and put children at risk at this time” and called on the government, as a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the child, to respect the right of Filipino children to life. , survival and development.

“The Philippine state, as the primary duty bearer of protecting the rights of the child, has a duty to put the best interests of the child above all else in public health by ensuring that COVID vaccines are safe. , effective and necessary beyond reasonable doubt,” he added.

He said the replacement of children’s robust natural immunity with shorter, less competent vaccine immunity is a cause for serious concern and that the effects on the “maturation of the immune, reproductive and nervous systems of infants/young children/ adolescents must be carefully and scientifically assessed.

“The increasing incidence of adverse events related to current experimental injections of COVID-19, including myocarditis, simply cannot be ignored and merits serious investigation,” he said.

The group called COVID-19 vaccination programs and policies “divisive, coercive, anti-poor and discriminatory, affecting not only public health but the nation’s social fabric of solidarity and respect in the face of the pandemic, and therefore requiring careful consideration before starting. another series of divisive vaccination rollouts.

The group urged the government to undertake massive education campaigns that promote a more strategic approach and perspective on public and child health and argued that vaccination should not be made “compulsory and a condition of registration, for face-to-face lessons, for picking sports and other developmental activities, for access to government supports like the 4Ps, etc. with reporting by Antonio L. Colina of MindaNews

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