COVID-19 vaccination for street children possible, health officials say
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Administering COVID-19 vaccines to street children is possible, local health officials here said.
The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) and Cebu City Health Office welcomed the recommendations of Cebu Medical Society (CMS) to also include homeless kids in the ongoing vaccination drive for children.
“I support that recommendation of the CMS because remember that street kids are the ones always roaming around. Unprotected. So we might as well provide them with the necessary protection,” said Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, chief pathologist of DOH-7.
Loreche, however, stressed that authorities must first secure consent and permission from national government agencies such as Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
“There has to be a close coordination… Closely coordinate with DSWD on the matter para that can be done in sequence. So, for this particular area, all these street kids… gather and can be you know, educated before they can be vaccinated also,” she explained.
On Wednesday, February 16, 2022, Cebu City began administering COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 5 to 11 years old. They are targeting to vaccinate at least 350 minors within this age group in a day.
Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, City Health Officer, said they are open to giving COVID-19 vaccines to street children.
Ibones shared the same sentiments with Loreche that securing consent from authorities is essential. He added that if it pushes through, they might prioritize street children currently housed in orphanages and other similar facilities.
“Ato gyud ng han-ayon. Dili lang nato dali-dalion. But we are trying to do our best nga ma trabaho,” said Ibones.
(We have to iron things out. We should not rush it. But we are trying to do our best that to make this work.)
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