MANILA – The pilot pediatric vaccination in the National Capital Region (NCR) will be done through phases.

Citing the approved guidelines for the pediatric age-group vaccination eyed to begin on October 15, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III on Monday said the inoculation of 15 to 17 years old will be done first, followed by the 12 to 14 years group.

Parental or guardian consent is needed before a minor can receive a shot while the vaccination will be piloted in select NCR hospitals to closely monitor the possible adverse effects.

"Para sa ganoon, kung magkaroon man ng mga adverse event following immunization ay at least nasa loob na po ng hospital at mabilis na matugunan kung magkaroon man ng emergency (So that in case there will be adverse events, following immunization, at least we are inside the hospital and we can immediately address the emergency)," he said during a press briefing held in Clark, Pampanga where officials witnessed a mall vaccination activity.

Minors with comorbidities will be prioritized at jabs sites Philippine Children's Medical Center, National Children's Hospital, Philippine Heart Center, Pasig City Children's Hospital, Fe Del Mundo Medical Center, and Philippine General Hospital.

The Food and Drug Administration initially approved the emergency use authorization of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for the inoculation.

National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said pediatric vaccination was closely studied before approval.

"Nagkakaroon po kami ng continuous research. Also, 'yung mga ginagawang vaccination ng mga different countries (We are also conducting continuous research based on the vaccination held in different countries)," he said.

After the 14-day test run in the six hospitals, Galvez said the vaccination will be expanded to other local government units within Metro Manila for another two weeks.

"After 30 days, magkakaroon na po tayo ng rollout sa buong NCR at sa mga areas na meron na po tayong average na more than 50 percent 'yung mga A2 [senior citizens] na vaccinated na (After 30 days, we will roll out this program in the entire NCR and in other areas that have vaccinated 50 percent of their A2 population)," he added.

Metro Manila Development Authority chair Benhur Abalos said NCR mayors are all set for pediatric vaccination.

"They have been doing the preregistration of minors. It's just a matter of identifying those who have comorbidities of those in the list. All the mayors are ready. They're very enthusiastic about the pilot, especially the children. They are very much prepared," Abalos said in another interview. (PNA)