Fri. May 27th, 2022

The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday reported a rise in Covid-19 cases among children aged 5 years old and below.

(pna.gov.ph)

“While we see that the number of cases in different age groups is declining, the number among children aged five and below has increased compared to when we had the Delta situation,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a media briefing in Filipino.

Her presentation showed that some 632 kids in this age group were infected with coronavirus from January 24 to 30, higher than the 554 seven-day moving average recorded during the peak in September.

There is a decline in the number of cases among 60 years old and above, but a general increase is observed in the infection in the pediatric age group, she said.

“Despite that, there’s no need to worry because we at the DOH continue to craft and implement measures and protocols to prevent the spread of the virus,” she said in Filipino.

She then urged parents and guardians to get their children inoculated as soon as possible.

Children aged 5 to 11 years old may start getting their Covid-19 vaccine on February 4 as the DOH rolls out the inoculation in pilot vaccination sites in Metro Manila.

These include the Philippine Heart Center, National Children’s Hospital, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Fil Oil Gym in San Juan City, Manila Zoo, and SM North Edsa.

By February 5, the rollout would expand to five sites in Region 3 (Central Luzon), two in Region 4-A (Calabarzon), and 38 others in the National Capital Region, including SM Megamall.

Vergeire emphasized that vaccines are free, safe, and effective for all age groups, including children.

“Our experts carefully studied the formula for 5 to 11 years old and the government assures everyone that this is safe and won’t cause harmful side effect,” she said in Filipino.

She noted that adverse events following immunization (AEFIs) are “rare occurrences” among vaccinated children but mild reactions, such as headache, pain in the injections sites can be expected.

Citing the latest global data on vaccines, Vergeire said only 0.00013 percent or 11 out of the 8.1 million vaccinated children around the world experienced myocarditis and none were from the Philippines.

“This is a very small percentage and very rare,” she said in Filipino.

She also emphasized the absence of data suggesting vaccines causes death.

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