Withholding jab info can lead to bigger problems, critics warn

(REUTERS/Carlos Osorio)

MANILA, Philippines — The COVID-19 task force has exempted children 2 years old and below, 6 to 7 years old, and 12 to 13 years old joining the government’s immunization drive from community quarantine rules barring them from going outside, Malacañang said Thursday.

This is to complement the Department of Health (DOH) and local government units’ (LGUs) conduct of routine and catch-up immunization and the community-based Measles-Rubella and Tetanus-Diphtheria (MR-Td) immunization activities, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

“Because of this, children less than 2 years old, 6-7 years old, and 12-13 years old shall be exempt from community quarantine restrictions for this purpose,” Roque said.

“LGUs are enjoined to fast-track routine and catch-up immunization and community-based MR-Td immunization by dedicating Wednesdays for child vaccination by shifting healthcare workers from COVID-19 vaccination targets on said day for the mentioned purpose,” he added.

In Metro Manila where the Alert Level 4 is in effect, persons below 18 years old and those aged 65 above are not allowed to leave their residence except when accessing essential goods and services.

The same rule applies in areas outside Metro Manila that are under modified enhanced community quarantine and general community quarantine, according to the omnibus guidelines of the task force.

In areas under the most lenient modified general community quarantine, persons below 15 years old and those who are over 65 years old must stay at home except when accessing essential goods and services.

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