In San Juan City, children can get vaccinated in the presence of Snow White.
This is because standees of cartoon characters and other kid-friendly designs can be spotted in a vaccination site as the city prepares for the pediatric vaccination against COVID-19.
The government will begin the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 on February 7.
The vaccination of the same age group will push through in Metro Manila and some parts of Central Luzon and Calabarzon. The nationwide rollout, however, will be on February 14.
The government will be using a reformulated COVID-19 vaccine of Pfizer.
It is the only COVID-19 vaccine in the country that has received an emergency use authorization for children.
Those who are 12 to 17 years old, on the other hand, can receive both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
According to the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pfizer vaccine is “over 90% effective at preventing COVID-19” in 5 to 11 years olds.
It said that there were “no serious safety concerns” identified during the clinical trials and that the reported side effects were “mild and similar to those experienced after routine vaccines.”
Possible side effects are soreness at the injection site, headaches, muscle aches and low-grade fevers.
Similar to the older ones, the children are to receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that while they have been found to have more minor COVID-19 symptoms, they may still be hospitalized or admitted into the intensive care unit (ICU).
“For children with co-morbidities, there is 1.8x risk of being infected with severe COVID-19 that may result in intensive care, while there is 2.8x risk that they may die after contracting the virus,” she said in a media briefing before.
The rollout of the vaccines will begin in hospital-based vaccination sites and another operated by a local government unit within the National Capital Region until it is expanded to the rest of the metro and other regions on its second week.
Ahead of the vaccination of children, the city government of San Juan decorated one of its vaccination sites with balloons and other standees of cartoon characters.
Some of the figures include Disney princess Snow White, Marvel’s Incredible Hulk and the characters of Anna, Olaf and Hans from “Frozen.”
Others quipped that the setup looks like a children’s party.
“Ginawang party vaccine site,” a Facebook user said with laughing-with-tears emoji.
“Sana may spag (spaghetti) at juice na din haha,” another online user commented.
“May birthday party, yarn,” a different Filipino said with a grinning face emoji.
According to the Department of Health, more children aged 0 to 11 are getting infected with COVID-19 during the Omicron wave compared to the Delta variant surge in the country in 2021.