The Department of Science and Technology on Thursday expressed willingness to test COVID-19 vaccines on Filipino children after Health Secretary Duque III said the government will not yet administer coronavirus shots to kids, citing the need for more studies.
This, despite the recent decision of the Food and Drug Administration to allow the emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine to minors aged 12 to 15 years old. Earlier, the FDA only authorized to give Pfizer shots to those 16 years old and above.
“Kami po ay open na kung kinakailangan ay pag-aralan din po ito para makita natin kung ang response ng ibang bansa ay katulad din po ng mga Pilipino kapag binakunahan ang ating mga kabataan,” Dr. Jaime Montoya, DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development executive director said at a media briefing.
[Translation: We are open to conducting a study to know if Filipino kids would elicit the same response as other children who were inoculated against coronavirus in other countries.]
Duque earlier said the Duterte administration will wait for other countries to include minors in their COVID-19 vaccination programs to learn from their experience. He added the Philippine Pediatric Society will conduct its own study on the effects of these coronavirus shots on children.
The Department of Health also said, for now, there is not enough supply to inoculate minors.