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In Western Visayas, approximately 1 million children aged 5 to 11 are being vaccinated.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pediatric immunization has been targeted for over 1,080,597 children aged 5 to 11 years old in Western Visayas and is planned to be rolled out throughout the region tentatively on Valentine’s Day.

“All varieties of Covid-19 vaccination continue to protect against severe sickness and especially mortality,” said Dr. Renilyn Reyes, head of the Department of Health’s Public Health Program Development Cluster in Western Visayas, in a virtual press conference on Monday.

Vaccines, she said, provide an extra layer of safety for gatherings and the safe reopening of schools, as well as “cocoon protection” for individuals who cannot be vaccinated.

She stated that as soon as the reformulated Pfizer vaccine doses arrive in the region this week, they will be prepositioned in various local government units (LGUs) and immunization sites around the region.

“Like our adult and 12 to 17-year-old, the launch would be incremental.” Because these are kids, it would be enjoyable and challenging,” she continued.

Negros Occidental had the biggest number of vaccination recipients, with 363,249, followed by Iloilo province with 267,470 and Capiz with 102,122.

There were also 84,356 people in Aklan, 95,437 in Antique, 24,354 in Guimaras, 81,737 in Bacolod City, and 61,872 in Iloilo City.

Reyes stated that immunization locations might develop their own method to make their facility more child-friendly.

She suggested it would be preferable if they couldn’t watch when the vaccine was given to other children so they wouldn’t be able to observe their reactions.

Parents should also communicate with their children ahead of time about their immunization schedule so that they are not worried about the day of the vaccination.

“Kid-friendly vaccination sites should be available. She went on to say that it would rely on the immunization locations of local government units.

According to Reyes, the negative effects of immunizations on children are minor. According to data, only 2.4 percent of people suffer major side effects, while 97.6 percent have none.

Fever, injection site soreness, tiredness, and headache are all mild adverse effects.

Children with moderate side effects should be monitored for one to two days, and if they persist, they should contact their pediatrician.

According to DOH data, children aged 17 and under account for 12 percent of the 176,638 Covid-19 cumulative cases in the region, or 21,713.

There were also 62 pediatric deaths, with 27 of these being children under the age of five.

“This means that our children will be infected with Covid-19,” she warned.

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