1,116 minors in Bontoc get COVID-19 vaccine jabs

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BONTOC, Mountain Province – A total of 1,116 minors aged 12-17 years had been given first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines as of November 4, 2021.

The Municipality of Bontoc rolled out the pediatric vaccination program on November 3, 2021, at the Bontoc Municipal Capitol. This is a joint undertaking of the Bontoc Local Government Unit (LGU) through the Municipal Health Office, the Department of Health, and the Provincial Government of Mountain Province through the Provincial Health Office, Bontoc General Hospital, and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

In an interview, Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey is grateful and happy with the positive and high response from ages 12-17 to be inoculated.

Likewise, he lauded the parents and guardians who gave consent to their children to be vaccinated and accompanied them in the vaccination area.

1According to Municipal Immunization Program Coordinator Oliver Gacusana, prior to vaccination, the minor and either the guardian or parent must fill up and sign a Consent Form and present one Valid ID for validation.

He added that the Municipal Health Office did not receive reports of severe side effects from the minors who received their jabs.

Gacusana further mentioned that the pediatric vaccination will run until November 30, 2021.

The COVID-19 vaccination of minors is a welcome development for parents, students, and teachers, as this could be a possible game-changer for high school-age students who have had to adapt to the “new normal education” such as online and modular classes.

Madelyn Tudlong, a health worker and a mother said that she and her husband gave consent for their daughter to be vaccinated because they believe that the vaccine is an effective protection against COVID-19 and it is their contribution to reaching herd immunity which is 70% of the population must be vaccinated.

“Personally, allowing our child to get vaccinated is our responsibility as parents,” she added.

Siblings Joshua and Alvin Balio said that they had their COVID-19 vaccines so they may be allowed to attend face-to-face classes should Mountain Province be included in the pilot test of the Department of Education.

The siblings added that it is their protection against the virus since they have been updated on the COVID-19 positive cases in the locality through the radio program of their mother, Donna Cawis Balio who is a media practitioner.

13-year-old Alexis said that she had her COVID-19 vaccine for protection against the virus.

“When I go out and do my outdoor activities, I am confident that I am protected. The fear of contracting the virus is not like before,” she remarked.

Philippine drug regulators granted emergency use authorization to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for minors as young as 12 in June and September, respectively. By Alpine L. Killa

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