The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday said the vaccination of children will depend on how fast the government can obtain supply of Pfizer vaccines and administer jabs to high-risk people.
Interviewed on GMA News’ Unang Balita, FDA director general Eric Domingo said Pfizer is the only approved brand of COVID-19 vaccine for use in children in the country now.
“Sa ngayon, ang allowed pa lang natin na gamitin sa 12 years old and above ay ‘yung Pfizer vaccines. So depende yan kung gaano tayo kabilis makakakuha din ng mga supply,” he said.
(So far, only Pfizer vaccines are allowed to be used in 12 years old and above. So it will depend on how fast we can obtain supply.)
Domingo made the statement when asked if the start of inoculation of children will push through by the end of September or October.
Earlier, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the vaccination of children against COVID-19 could start by the end of September or October depending on the supply of vaccines.
But Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Monday that further studies are needed before COVID-19 vaccine will be administered to children, adding that the Health Department will retain the policy to delay the inoculation of kids and teenagers in the country.
“Kinakailangan ng mas masusing pag-aaral ng safety ng pagbabakuna sa mga bata lalo na sa mga immunocompromised,” Duque told President Rodrigo Duterte and fellow Cabinet members.
Meanwhile, Domingo said Sinovac already applied for emergency use authorization (EUA) for the use of its COVID-19 vaccine on children aged 3 to 17years old.
The vaccine expert panel (VEP) is still studying if Sinovac is safe and effective for the age group, according to Domingo.
To vaccinate children aged 17 and below, the FDA said the Philippines will have to vaccinate an additional 12 to 14 million people.
The country is eyeing to vaccinate 76.3 million people by the end of the year to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, a figure that does not include children aged 17 and below.
As of August 8, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said 13,087,781 people have taken the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine while 11,391,969 466 are now fully vaccinated in the country. — RSJ, GMA News