DOUBLE DUTY. Manila Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, also a medical doctor, administers a Covid-19 vaccine shot during the inoculation of minors aged 12 years to 17 years at the Ospital ng Maynila on Friday (Oct. 22, 2021). Lacuna said the rollout would help pave the way for a safe return to physical classes. (Photo courtesy of Manila PIO)

MANILA – The local governments of Manila and Quezon City (QC) took part in the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination of minors with co-morbidities aged 12 to 17 on Friday.

In Manila, 23,354 Covid-19 jabs have been reserved for the pediatric inoculation, 22,854 of them Pfizer vaccines and the remaining 500 Moderna – the only vaccines approved so far by the Food and Drug Administration for children.

"Kung gaano po ka-importante ang bakuna sa inyong mga adults, ganun rin sa mga bata (If the vaccine is important for adults, it is the same for children)," Manila Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna said in an interview.

Lacuna, who is also a medical doctor, personally administered some shots at the Ospital ng Maynila.

“We need to protect them as soon as possible so they can go out towards normalization. We are very happy na nakapaghanda tayo para mabakunahan na sila (we were able to prepare for their vaccination),” Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso said in a statement.

In QC, the vaccination kicked off at the Quezon City General Hospital, witnessed by Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and representatives of the Department of Health.

“We have seen in the past months how the virus has been affecting our kids as well. It’s high time that we expand the vaccination program to them. We, in the local government, would like to assure everyone that the inoculation process for the children will be as smooth, if not better, as the ones we had for the adults,” QC Mayor Joy Belmonte said in another statement.

Among the co-morbidities considered are genetic conditions, neurologic conditions, metabolic/endocrine diseases, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), tuberculosis, chronic respiratory diseases, renal disorders, hepatobiliary diseases, and those who are immune-compromised due to disease or treatment.

As of Friday, Manila only has 850 active Covid-19 cases while Quezon City has 4,092, both cities reducing the numbers by at least half since cases surged two months ago. (PNA)