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GUIDE: COVID Vaccines for Kids Aged 5 to 11, What You Need to Know

Immunization for children starts Feb. 4.
by Pia Regalado
Jan 28, 2022
Photo/s: NTF/Handout

Children aged five to 11 can get their COVID-19 vaccines starting Feb. 4 to protect them from the coronavirus especially those with weak immune systems, the Department of Health said Friday.

Unvaccinated kids with weak immune defenses are at higher risk of catching COVID-19 and needing intensive care, Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire told the government's Laging Handa briefing. They are almost three times more likely to die if infected with the virus, she said.

"Bagamat lumalabas na less severe ang COVID-19 cases sa pediatric age, maaari pa rin po silang mahawahan ng COVID-19 na maaaring makapagresulta sa hospitalization o admission sa intensive care unit kaya naman po kinakailangan pa rin silang maging protektado laban sa virus," she said.

The government is eyeing to inoculate some 13.5 million children aged 5 to 11 with the reformulated Pfizer vaccine.

Here are the guidelines that you need to know.

Where and when can we get the vaccines?

The vaccination rollout for kids will start in Metro Manila in Feb. 4, Vergeire said. The department will launch the vaccination in government hospitals like National Children's Hospital, Philippine Children's Medical Center, Philippine Heart Center on Friday morning, followed by the initial rollout in other areas in Metro Manila including Manila Zoo, said Vergeire.

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The phasing of the vaccine rollout will depend on the arrival of vaccine supply for kids, she said.

Whis vaccine brand is available for children?

Kids will get Pfizer vaccines with 91% efficacy based on U.S. clinical trials in Oct. 2021, Vergeire said.

It will be given in two doses with 0.2mL each, with the second dose administered three weeks from the first dose.

READ MORE: U.S. Authorizes Pfizer COVID Vaccine for Children 5-11

Can children with allergies get the vaccine?

The DOH advises against inoculating kids who are allergic to some ingredients of the vaccine, like polyethylene glycol (PEG) or polysorbate.

"Nirerekomenda po ng Kagawaran ng Kalusugan na kayo po ay kumonsulta muna sa inyong physicians kung ang inyong anak ay may allergies o comorbidities bago po kayo magpaturok ng COVID-19 vaccine para masiguro po natin ang kanilang kaligtasan," said Vergeire.

She also warned against vaccinating kids who are undergoing isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19. The department earlier said vaccinees should finish their quarantine or isolation period first before getting COVID jabs to avoid spreading the virus.

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Are walk-ins allowed?

No. Parents and guardians must register first with local government units or the nearest vaccination center to secure a slot for the children.

What to bring on vaccination day?

Parents and guardians who will accompany the child on vaccination day should bring the following:

  • Document proving the relationship between the parent and child such as birth certificate or baptismal certificate
  • Valid ID of the child with photo
  • Valid ID of the parent or guardian with photo

If the parent cannot accompany their child on vaccination day, the guardian should bring a Special Power of Attorney (SPA). If unavailable, the guardian can also present any of the following

  • Notarized authorization letter or affidavit
  • Barangay certification from barangay captain

Will kids experience side effects from the vaccine?

It is normal for kids to experience mild side effects like muscle aches, low-grade fever, fatigue, pain and swelling, and headache which could last two to three days, said Vergeire.

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"Bihira lang po ang malalang side effect dahil sa COVID vaccines at kung meron man, gumagaling din ang mga kabataang nakakaranas nito," she said.

If vaccinated kids show symptoms, they should drink plenty of fluids. Kids with symptoms can also take paracetamol, not aspirin, after vaccination. If symptoms persist, parents or guardians should consult health professionals.

"Kung ang inyong anak ay hindi makakaranas ng sintomas, huwag po kayong mag-alala dahil epektibo pa rin po ang bakuna kahit walang sintomas na maramdaman pagkatapos mabakunahan."

Vaccines are safe, effective, and free of charge, Vergeire said.

"Sa atin pong mga magulang, wala po kayong dapat ipangamba at agaran n'yo na po iparehistro ang inyong mga anak para sila po ay mabakunahan na."


How to Prepare Children Afraid of Needles for a COVID-19 Vaccine

Kids Aged 4 and Below Could Get COVID Vaccines by April: Palace

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