A photo of some of Quezon City’s senior high school students (Val Leonardo/B Cuaresma/ai/mtvn))
By Rjhay E. Laurea
MANILA — With the latest Food and Drug Administration approval of some vaccines to inoculate minors, the Quezon City government is now gearing up for a city-wide registration and eventual rollout of the inoculation program for the younger generation.
The QC Task Force Vax to Normal is now working with public and private schools to know the number of currently enrolled students aged 12-17.
The rated number of students who belong to this age bracket is around 267,000 but there could be more students eligible for the inoculation program knowing that many stopped their schools during the community quarantine period.
This data will then be used as a basis for the allocation and registration of this age group for jabs.
QC Mayor Joy Belmonte said that the city government reviews the vaccination of children as it is crucial to reaching population protection.
“For months we have been focused on inoculating 80% of Quezon City’s adult population or 1.7 million individuals 18 and above and we have now vaccinated more than that target. It is now time to shift our attention to minors because they are also vulnerable to the virus. Moreover, they comprise about 30% of the city’s approximately 3.1 million population and it is impossible to reach herd immunity or 80% of the total population without including them,” Belmonte said.
As of 8 am of September 15, the city has given 1,750,537 first doses or 102.97 % of its target population. Fully vaccinated individuals stood at 1,232,681 or 72.51 % of the target population.
Data from the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) showed that as of September 14, the city has recorded a total of 13,441 cases of COVID-19 among children aged 0 to 17.
Belmonte earlier called on the national government to begin allowing children to get inoculated and sign the protocols for the rollouts.
QC Task Force Vax to Normal Co-chair Joseph Juico said that while the city is waiting for the go signal, preparations are underway.
“We are closely working with our private and public schools because the strategy now is to put up sites in their campuses and school grounds,” Juico said.
As for the out-of-school youth, homeschooled and students enrolled outside the city, the task force is helping the barangay officials for proper enlisting of the said children.
The online booking system made by the city will also start once the doses for children are at hand so they can schedule the date, time, and venue of their inoculation.
“Rest assured that once we have the necessary guidelines and vaccine supply from the national government, we will immediately roll out the vaccination program for minors,” Juico added. (ai/mtvn)