COVID-19 vaccines

Over 21,000 children ages 5 to 11 get COVID-19 jabs in Ilocos region

John Michael Mugas
Over 21,000 children ages 5 to 11 get COVID-19 jabs in Ilocos region

KEEPING SAFE. Children aged 5 to 11 years old are accompanied by their parents as they receive COVID-19 vaccine jabs in a facility in Pangasinan province.

Department of Health - Ilocos Region

The national COVID-19 Interagency Task Force identifies the Ilocos region among those with high vaccination coverage

LAOAG CITY, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) in the Ilocos region said on Tuesday, February 22 that over 21,000 kids aged 5 to 11 years old have gotten their COVID-19 shots since the rollout for the age group began last week.

The regional DOH had targeted to vaccinate at least 25,000 out of the 73,133 children aged 5 to 11 years old in the Ilocos region.

DOH Regional Director Paula Paz M. Sydiongco urged parents to bring in their kids for jabs as one way to “show their love to their children.” The campaign to vaccinate young children is critical so they can soon go back to face-to-face classes, said Syndiongco.

Among the provinces in the region, Pangasinan had the highest vaccination coverage for the age group with 8,922, followed by Ilocos Norte (4,586), Ilocos Sur (3,835), La Union (2,775), and Dagupan City (1,448).

Syndiongco said their goal is to vaccinate as many kids as possible.

“The pediatric vaccination will continue to be conducted in designated vaccination sites until all target children have been given their first dose of Pfizer vaccine,” she said.

In Batac City, Ilocos Norte, the vaccination teams of Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center and Mariano Marcos State University joined forces to vaccinate at least 1,500 pre-enlisted kids during a three-day inoculation drive which started on February 22.

Despite it being difficult to gauge the parents’ interest on jabs for children, the regional DOH said that it was important to educate them on why kids should receive the COVID-19 vaccine shots.

More than protecting the children, kids’ vaccination against COVID-19 also focuses on their “growth and development,” the DOH said.

Syndiongco assuaged the worries of many parents, noting that the COVID-19 vaccines are “safe, free, and will surely give their children the needed protection against COVID-19.”

So far, the region has already administered over six million COVID-19 vaccines, with 86.40% of its 3.7-million target already inoculated, according to the DOH.

On Monday, Ilocos region was identified by the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) as one of the top 12 regions in the country with the highest vaccination coverage, and could now focus on administering booster shots to residents. – Rappler.com

John Michael Mugas is a Luzon-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.

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