QC ready to start vaccination of children 17 years below

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Amid the steady rise in the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections, including among children, the Quezon City government is hoping the national government would expand its vaccination program to include those 17 years old and below.

A report by the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) released Friday showed more than 12,000 minors in QC have contracted Covid-19.

As of September 8, the CESU has logged 12,608 cases of Covid-19 among children aged 0 to 17 years.

Of the active cases between August 26 and September 8, a total of 48 children were less than one year old, 597 were one year to 10 years old, and 682 were between 11 and 17 years.

On Thursday, the city government reported that 99 of the 122 who tested positive for Covid-19 at the Gentle Hands Orphanage are aged 18 years old and below.

Mayor Joy Belmonte said vaccinating minors is crucial as they comprise 30 percent of the city’s population.

“What health experts are now pushing for cannot be achieved in our city if we will not allow children or those below 18 years old to get Covid-19 vaccines, and help them as well from getting seriously sick from the virus,” Belmonte said in a statement on Friday.

She said the city government is ready to vaccinate children as soon as the national government gives its go signal.

“We understand that there is a vaccine shortage at the moment but once our country gets a regular supply of vaccines with FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval for vaccinating 17 and below, we should consider this right away. We need to protect our children given that they are directly or indirectly exposed,” Belmonte said.

The QC government has expanded its swab testing and isolation facilities to include children and their families.

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