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PNP to prepare for crowd control ops as gov’t targets to vaccinate 0-4 year-olds

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Police General Dionardo Carlos directed police personnel to prepare for crowd control operations as the government is eyeing to vaccinate around 11.11 million children aged 0 to 4 years old against COVID-19 before the end of June.

Carlos urged various police units to coordinate with counterparts in their respective local government units.

“Unlike the previous vaccination roll-out, this time we are talking about very young vaccinees like babies and toddlers. We need to be extra careful in handling them,” he said in a statement on Friday.

“I hope that they can be scheduled well, so as not to blend with the bulk of the adults especially since the administration of booster shots is ongoing.”

Carlos said that once the government gives the green light, police personnel will be deployed to secure the vicinity of vaccination sites focusing on the implementation of minimum health protocols.

“There is always a tendency that these venues may be overwhelmed with those who are waiting for their turn to be vaccinated. This is what we would like to avoid especially in the presence of infants or younger children. Physical distancing must strictly be enforced,” he added.

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier announced that the government was looking to inoculate 90 million Filipinos before the end of June. The target includes the youngest age group.

Galvez said they were making contingencies to secure a supply of COVID-19 vaccines for 0-4 year-olds as COVID-19 vaccine brands with formulations for children were limited. This would result in a shortage during the first quarter.

Meanwhile, over 54 million of the Philippine population had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 amid the sudden steep increase in cases that started after Christmas, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said on Friday.

Data from the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) as of January 13 showed that 54,457,863 individuals were fully vaccinated, or 70.60% of the government's target for vaccination. — DVM, GMA News