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Gov't launches 3-day national COVID-19 vaccination drive for children

The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday kicked off the three-day nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive in a bid to ramp up the inoculation uptake among children aged five to 17.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire and local government officials led the launch of the Bakunahang Bayan from December 5 to 7 in Davao City.

The Health official emphasized the importance of vaccination especially among the younger population as schools have reopened for face-to-face classes.

According to the DOH, 5,333,423 kids aged five to 11 are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as of November 30.

This translated 48.9% of the 10.8 million target population for the age group.

Meanwhile, 10,010,095 adolescents aged 12 to 17 have also completed their primary vaccine series. This was 112% of the 8.9 million target population.

At least 1,082,475 or 12% of the aged 12 to 17 have also received their first booster dose.

Vergeire also thanked the healthcare workers and vaccinators for their service to the public.

“Ngayong papalapit na ang Kapaskuhan, piliin nating maging bakunado gayundin ang pagsunod natin sa ating minimum public health standards upang maging masaya at ligtas ang ating mga pagtitipon,” she said.

(Now that the Christmas season is approaching, let's choose to be vaccinated as well as follow our minimum public health standards so that our gatherings will be happy and safe.)

In a Super Radyo dzBB interview, OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David also echoed the importance of getting the primary vaccine series and booster doses, saying that the jabs help protect individuals from severe forms of COVID-19 infection.

“Pwede pang mahawaan kahit bakunado na. ‘Yung severe COVID naman ang tinitignan natin. Kumokonti na talaga ang nagkaka-severe na infection dahil bakunado sila,” he said.

(You can still get infected even if you are vaccinated. We are looking at the severe COVID. Severe infections are actually decreasing because people are vaccinated.)

This was in consideration to the recent detection of the Omicron BQ.1, a sublineage of the highly transmissible Omicron BA.5 subvariant.

There are 16 total recorded BQ.1 cases in the country as of Friday, according to the DOH.—AOL, GMA Integrated News