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Minors in Pateros encouraged to get inoculated 

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Pateros Mayor Miguel “Ike” Ponce III urged the remaining unvaccinated minors aged 12 to 17 years old to get their vaccinated against COVID-19 amid the threat of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, according to a report by Manila Bulletin.

Ponce made the announcement as the government approved the vaccination of children 5 to 11 years old and the expected surge in the number of people getting booster shots in January.

“Because we may start the vaccination of 5 to 11 years old simultaneously with the administration of mass booster shots come January 2022, we encourage those unvaccinated children who are 12 to 17 years old to walk in at AMC Gym in Bgy. San Roque and get their shots from Dec. 27 to 30, 2021,” said the mayor.

The country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had earlier approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years old.

National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said, “We would like to announce that we have already included the 5 to 11 [years old] that have been approved by the FDA, so in this case, we are now negotiating for the availability of those vaccines for our children.”

“This call is being made for those remaining 12 to 17 years old who have not been vaccinated so that they will not be vaccinated with many people and experience difficulty because of long lines at the vaccination site,” said.

He added, “This is also part of our preparation for the possible entry of the Omicron variant at the start of 2022.”

The Department of Health (DOH) announced that the Philippines has detected the Omicron variant in three travelers.

The DOH also announced last Dec. 21 the shortening of the booster dose interval from six to three months for those who were fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinovac and Sputnik V vaccines, and two months for those who received the Janssen vaccine.

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