/ 14 October 2021

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian on Wednesday urged the National Task Force Against Covid19 to avoid a walk-in system and prevent crowding during the vaccination of minors beginning October 15.

Minors aged 12-17 with comorbidities will be the first to receive their Covid19 vaccines. Children of healthcare workers will also be given priority.

“I would discourage the NTF from doing a first-come, first-served walk-in type of arrangement,” Gatchalian said.

“We don’t allow a walk-in type of arrangement dahil talagang mag-iipon-ipon ang mga tao, especially now that the weather condition is unpredictable at maya’t maya ay umuulan. Let’s not do a walk-in type of arrangement because that will really spell disaster at the end,” the senator said.

According to the NTF, there are 12.7 million teenagers in the 12-17 age group.

Based on the Global Burden of Disease, the Department of Health said that 10 percent of those in this age group have comorbidities.

Eight hospitals had been designated for the first phase of pediatric vaccination from October 15-30 — the National Children’s Hospital, Philippine Heart Center, Pasig City Children’s Hospital, Fe Del Mundo Medical Center, Philippine General Hospital, Makati Medical Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig and Philippine Children’s Medical Center.

The vaccine rollout in hospitals will begin with the 15-17 age group followed by minors aged 12-14.

“It’s about time that we vaccinate our teenagers and we support the prioritization of teenagers with comorbidities. What we’re driving at is that we don’t want a scenario wherein they will be lining up in those eight hospitals. Kawawa naman ang mga batang ito sa ganoong sitwasyon,” Gatchalian said.