FOR KIDS. Around 30,000 doses of the reformulated Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old are delivered at Manila’s Sta. Ana Hospital on Saturday (Feb. 5, 2022). The city will vaccinate the age group at Manila Zoo in Malate starting February 7. (Photo courtesy of Manila-PIO)

MANILA – The National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) is mulling the nationwide rollout of pediatric Covid-19 vaccination for the 5 to 11 age group on February 14.

The planned Valentine’s Day activity will be held a week after Monday’s initial rollout in six vaccination sites in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Dr. Kezia Rosario, NVOC co-lead and medical specialist, said Saturday the pilot run will be expanded to 32 more vaccination centers in NCR – hospitals, malls, gymnasiums, and schools.

Each pilot site can cater to 500 vaccinees daily.

Five hospitals in Central Luzon, three in Calabarzon, and one in Cotabato City will also begin their 5-11 age group vaccination next week.

"So ito po ay tinatawag nating pilot sites pa lamang kasi pinag-aaralan natin kung paano siya ma-implement nang maayos operationally so tinitingnan din natin kung saan mas magandang i-implement, Sa hospital lang ba or kasama na iyong mga eskuwelahan, iyong mga other vaccination sites sa ating implementation po (In this pilot run, we will study how to effectively implement it, operationally. So we are also looking at where should it better be implemented. Should it be in hospitals or should we include schools and other vaccination sites)”," Rosario said at the Laging Handa public briefing.

She added that the government will also analyze the vaccine acceptance of the children and their parents.

The government will initially allocate 1.5 million reformulated Covid-19 doses for the primary series.

The government-procured 780,000 doses of the Pfizer jab for the youngest age group arrived on Friday night. Another 780,000 may be delivered on February 9. 

Party atmosphere

In San Juan City, kid-friendly decorations, mascots, candies, loot bags, and magic shows are in store for the children.

The FilOil Flying V Centre will be transformed into a party place with balloons, superheroes and cartoon character standees.

“These are all meant to distract them from the actual vaccination process," Mayor Francis Zamora posted on social media on Saturday. "Layunin natin dito ay mabawasan ang kaba at takot ng mga bata sa (Our goal here is to lessen children’s anxiety and fear of) the injection."

The city government will cater to 5,600 pre-registered children.

Walk-ins are strictly prohibited to avoid crowding.

Visit https://vaxreg.sanjuancity.gov.ph for registration. (PNA)