No vaccines yet for children

THERE is no approved and endorsed Sars-CoV-2 vaccine yet for children ages 12 to 17 years old in the country.

The Visayas Covid-19 Vaccination Operations Center (VVOC) issued the clarification after information about the Pfizer vaccine being suitable for children 12 to 17 years old surfaced.

“We have to wait for their (experts’) go signal. There is not enough vaccine supply yet to cover ages 12 to 17 years old. That’s why we are prioritizing to vaccinate 70 percent of the eligible population (18 years old and up),” said Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, VVOC spokesperson.

Until then, Loreche urged the eligible population to get vaccinated so they can provide indirect immunity to their children.

Meanwhile, she reiterated that the 5,100 individuals who received the first dose of Gamaleya’s Sputnik V vaccine and are scheduled to get their second dose next week need not worry if their second jab is delayed.

She said they’ve been waiting for an additional supply of Sputnik V doses to be delivered to the region.

“Don’t be afraid if the injection of your second dose is delayed. It will still be effective even if given within three months from the injection of your first dose,” Loreche said.

The Gamaleya Institute, the manufacturer of the Sputnik V vaccine, has asked to amend its emergency use authorization to extend the interval of the first and second doses from three weeks to three months, according to the country’s Food and Drug Administration.

According to the Sputnik V’s official website, the vaccine is based on a “proven well-studied” human adenovirus vector platform. It is also the first coronavirus vaccine to use a heterogeneous boosting approach based on two different vectors for vaccine shots.

Loreche said Philippine medical experts are studying the possibility of using the AstraZeneca vaccine as a second dose for individuals who received the first dose of the Sputnik V vaccine.

She said Sputnik V and AztraZeneca use non-replicating viral vectors.

She then asked the public to wait for further advisories about their vaccination.

In Mandaue City, the Mobile Vaccination Clinic empowered by the Philippine Red Cross inoculated 523 residents of Barangay Subangdaku at the San Roque Parish gym on Saturday, Aug. 14.

This served as the second stop of the mobile clinic since its launching on Aug. 5, when its team inoculated 485 residents of Sitio 6.5 Relocation Site in Barangay Paknaan.

Ernie Manatad, head of the City’s Vaccine Board, told SunStar Cebu the mobile vaccination clinic vaccinates all priority subgroups: medical frontliners (A1), senior citizens (A2), persons with comorbidity (A3), other frontliners (A4) and indigent people (A5).

He said the clinic also provides priority lanes for senior citizens, persons with disabilities and breastfeeding mothers.

Manatad said all vaccinees were registered and had been identified by barangay officials.

He said the clinic accepts walk-ins. However, they have to wait until all those who registered are accommodated.

Meanwhile, many city residents who have registered to be vaccinated but have yet to receive a text message for their jab schedule have been complaining on social media.

Manatad said they have posted a link on the Mandaue City Vaccination Operation Center Facebook page where registered persons can follow up on their vaccination schedule. (WBS, KFD)