/ 27 October 2021

VACCINATING minors against Covid19 will help ensure their well-being and development, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Tuesday.

The government started vaccinating minors aged 12 to 17 with health risks last October 15.

Galvez pointed out that children’s mental health “is taking a toll” from almost two years of being cooped indoors.

“Nakikita natin na ‘yung ating mga kabataan nag-suffer na ang mental health at kailangan talaga natin na bigyan sila ng kaunting leeway so that they can move around to play and also to study and to socialize with their friends,” he said on Monday night during President Rodrigo Duterte’s talk to the people.

“Kahit tanungin po natin ang psychologist natin, more than 300 to 400 percent have depression. So, nag-increase ang depression and suicidal tendencies ng mga bata natin,” he added.

Earlier this month, UNICEF reported that at least 1 in 7 children has been directly affected by lockdowns, while more than 1.6 billion children have suffered some loss of education.

It added that more than 1 in 7 adolescents aged 10 to 19 is estimated to live with a diagnosed mental disorder globally.

Galvez said that pediatric vaccination will allow the resumption of face-to-face classes.

“Nakikita natin na maraming nag-close na mga private schools at ‘yun po nakita natin ancillary business na nag-close din po na maraming nabubuhay na Pilipino dito sa education sector,” the official said.

The government hopes to inoculate 90 percent of teachers, students, and school personnel before the end of November.