DOH open to vaccination vs. COVID-19 of children aged four and younger

The Department of Health (DOH) is open to allowing the vaccination against COVID-19 of children aged four years old and younger pending the results of the evaluation of the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

DOH officer in charge Ma. Rosario Vergeire said the emergency use authorization (EUA) of the vaccines for the said age group needed to be first approved by the FDA.

“Tayo naman po dito sa Kagawaran ng Kalusugan, bukas tayo lalong-lalo na alam natin na ‘yung mga vulnerable sector natin, kailangan mabakunahan. Pero tayo rin…kailangan dumaan tayo doon sa proseso ng page-evaluate nitong mga produktong ito,” Vergeire said at a press conference.

(The Department of Health is open to that because we know that our vulnerable sector needs to be vaccinated. But we also have to go through the process of evaluating these products.)

“Dito po sa ating bansa, inaantay pa ho natin ‘yung evaluation ng FDA natin kung ito po ay makakapasa doon sa in-apply nila na EUA dito sa ating bansa for vaccines for COVID-19 for less than 5 years old,” she added.

(Here in our country, we are still waiting for the FDA’s evaluation to see if the EUA that they applied for the COVID-19 vaccines for aged 5 and below could be passed.)

Vergeire made the remark after she was asked to comment on infectious diseases expert Dr. Rontgene Solante remark as regards vaccinating little children.

“Mas maganda pa rin na maisali na rin sila sa vaccination, especially the two years old and below na palaging exposed din sa mga adult,” Solante said, pointing out that specific vaccines that should be administered to them were still being studied.

(It is better to include them in vaccination, especially the two years old and below who are always exposed to adults.)

It was last month when Vergeire said that applications for the issuance of EUA on COVID-19 vaccines for children aged zero to four years old were pending before the FDA.

Vergeire said the FDA had to evaluate if the vaccines were safe and effective. The Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) will then assess cost efficiency or effectiveness to the population.

Based on the DOH’s latest data, at least 73.3 million Filipinos are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 20.1 million have received their booster shots. –NB, GMA News

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