We hold hope the three-day nationwide vaccination campaign against COVID-19 which ends today will be successful and help the target public – the students – go back safely to school for in-person classes.
The Department of Health (DOH) set in motion the latest three-day drive aimed at providing first booster shots to 50 percent of the eligible pediatric population.
DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire herself joined local government officials the other day in Davao City during the launch of the “Bakunahang Bayan” and stressed in her message the importance of vaccination especially among students, the learners who started trooping back to their classes for physical attendance in October.
Loosely taken in context, for purposes of professional obligations of pediatricians to the society at large, the concept of pediatrics begins with the fetus and continues through newborn, infancy, preschool and school age including adolescence up to and including 18 years of age.
This population would cover learners up to junior high school, senior high school and even first year college.
Vergeire was on the right track in thanking all health care workers and vaccinators for their untiring service and resolve to help protect the population against this health emergency which has infected more than four million and killed at least 64,725 since March 2020.
The target population and their families must listen to her, particularly when she said that with the upcoming Christmas holiday season, the students – with many parties left and right – must have themselves vaccinated.
They must also continue to adhere o the minimum public health standards to enable them and their families to enjoy a happy and safe Yuletide celebration.
Good thing, if timely, that the DOH earlier said that SARS-CoV-2 vaccines would be offered house-to-house to reach the elderly, those with comorbidities and the immune- compromised.
As of November 23, or two weeks ago, a total 168,893,220 vaccine doses have been administered in the Philippines, according to the World Health Organization.
Latest data from the DOH showed that less than half of the nearly 11 million target population of children aged 5 to 11 years old have been fully vaccinated – after starting the vaccination for this age group last February.
At the moment, children aged 5 to 11 are only eligible for the two primary doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with booster shots enjoying thus far no approval from health experts.
As regards the 12-17 age bracket, the DOH said there are now more than 10 million fully vaccinated adolescents – which is 112 percent of the original target population of 8.9 million adolescents.
Under the same age group, 1,082,475 adolescents have received their booster shot, which makes up 12 percent of the total eligible population of fully vaccinated adolescents.
Let’s get the boosters on the roll.