DESPITE the ongoing public opposition to the vaccination of children, including a petition filed by concerned parents in a Quezon City court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the move, some 8,000 individuals aged five to 11 years old have registered with the Baguio City online portal for vaccination.
The 8,000 is roughly equal to around 17 percent of the city’s some 46,000 children in the age range, with the City Health Services Office (CHSO) looking to encourage more parents to register their children for the scheduling of vaccination.
The National Task Force (NTF) has allotted a shipment of 780,000 specially formulated Pfizer vaccines for children for the city’s use as part of a nationwide 15 million doses for the vaccination of the age group.
The vaccines are lower in dosage compared to the standard vaccine for adults, and are expected to be rolled out first in the National Capital Region (NCR) followed by other regions.
However, public reception to the call for vaccination of children has been mixed, with many concerned parents refusing to register. According to a joint statement from the Department of Health (DOH) and the NTF, some 100,000 nationwide have registered for the vaccination, out of the allotted 15 million doses available.
The DOH and NTF said in their joint statement that the vaccine rollout will proceed as planned while the petition for a TRO remains unresolved.
The statement also assured locals that even though there are concerns over the initiative, the decision has been based on careful study by health experts, and that precedent in other countries indicates that the move is generally safe, barring outlier cases.
“As we always emphasize, all Food and Drug Administration-approved COVID-19 vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective. Over 8.1 million children have already been vaccinated worldwide, with no reports of deaths and serious adverse events among those vaccinated,” the statement said.
The national launch for children’s vaccination has been moved to February 7 due to logistical concerns, but both the DOH and the NTF have declared that it will continue.