MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) is prepared for the Covid-19 vaccination of children under five years old if it is scientifically proven to be beneficial and safe for the age group.
In a media forum, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said they are ready once a regulatory clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Technology Assessment Council becomes available for the administration of Covid-19 jabs for children as young as six months.
“We are willing, and we are going to do that, so we are prepared to do these vaccinations and we have healthcare workers who are trained for the longest time on vaccinating our children,” she said.
The United States FDA amended on Thursday the emergency use authorizations (EUAs) of the bivalent Covid-19 vaccines of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech to include use in children down to six months old.
Vergeire noted Sinovac is the only manufacturer that has applied for EUA so far.
“But hearing that it has been granted EUA in the US, maybe Pfizer and Moderna will soon apply with our Food and Drug Administration, but currently wala pa, currently evaluating pa rin tayo dun sa Sinovac na below five years old (but currently, there is none, we’re currently evaluating Sinovac for below five years old),” she said.
“So, antayin lang natin, kasi 'yung EUA also triggers for our experts to evaluate further dahil dun sa EUA dun natin nakikita kung para sa kanino, ano pa 'yung ibibigay at iba pang indication so antayin natin ‘yun (let’s just wait, because the EUA also triggers for our experts to evaluate further because it shows for whom, what must be given and other indications) and other studies will be done by the experts,” she added.
On Dec. 5 to 7, the DOH conducted the Bakunahang Bayan which administered first booster doses to 132,770 individuals nationwide and primary series jabs to 33,239 5-to-11-year olds.
“So, ngayon po, ang percentage ng (So, currently, the percentage of) 5 to 11 years old who are fully-vaccinated with our Covid-19 vaccine would be almost 50 percent. It's 49.3 percent [of the target population for the said age group],” Vergeire said. (PNA)