The Department of Health (DOH) reported the fourth case of the Omicron variant today, December 27.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeira announced in a press briefing that the DOH identified the fourth Omicron case in the Philippines as a 38-year-old female traveler from the United States of America.
“Our fourth Omicron case is a 38-year-old female from the United States of America,” explained Vergeira. “She arrived in Manila on December 10, 2021 via PAL PR 127. She was quarantined upon arrival. On December 13, she had throat itchiness and colds and, her specimen was collected on December 14. When results turned positive on December 15, she was then placed in an isolation facility. She was discharged asymptomatic after a 10-day isolation on December 24. She remains to be asymptomatic as of this time and she is scheduled to be retested tomorrow.”
Vergeira added that average cases remained low in the previous week and case classifications are still at minimal risk nationally.
However, there has been an increase in caseload and positivity rates in the previous week in the NCR and 14 of 17 areas.
Meanwhile, the DOH also clarified in its public advisory that the COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old has not yet started.
The advisory stated that preparations for the rollout are still underway. The National COVID-19 Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) will announce the exact date as soon as the vaccines for the said age group are ready, together with the availability of the appropriate syringes.
DOH stressed that following the approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children below 12 years old under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), the dose and concentration of the Pfizer vaccine for 5 to 11 years old will be different from those given to 12 years old and above.
It also pointed out the importance of routine vaccines prescribed under the National Immunization Program to prevent children from having diseases with clinical features similar to COVID-19.
With support from the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS), DOH strongly recommends that parents have their children receive the following routine vaccinations while waiting for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout:
Routine vaccines for infants (0-2 years old) are BCG Vaccine, Hepatitis B Vaccine, Pentavalent Vaccine, Oral Polio Vaccine, Inactivated Polio Vaccine, Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine, and Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccine.
Routine vaccines for school-aged children (6-7, 12-13 years old) are Measles-Rubella Vaccine and Tetanus-Diphtheria Vaccine. DZUP