Still no go-signal for pediatric vaccination – DOH

© The STAR/Michael Varcas, file Still no go-signal for pediatric vaccination – DOH

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday that there is still no recommendation from the All Expert Group to administer COVID-19 vaccines among minors aged 12 to 17 years old.

According to DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, the group has not given their recommendation whether or not minors should be given the COVID-19 jab.

“This is still being studied thoroughly, because foremost is the safety and equity component of this,” she noted in a press briefing.

Vergeire added the priority remains to be the vaccination of all “vulnerable” groups.

She said that although children are getting infected with COVID-19 now, “those most at risk are still adult age groups.”

“This is the reason why our experts would really (want) the adults groups to be vaccinated (first), and when our supply is already stable then there will be discussions on children vaccination,” she maintained.

The official added that two vaccine brand – Pfizer and Moderna – now have emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to be used among the 12 and 17 year age group.

“But because this will involve children, we would like to ensure that these vaccines will be safe for 12 to 17. We want to make sure what can be done operationally so we can monitor these children,” she said.

Vaccine arrivals

Over five million doses of COVID-19 vaccines arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 on Sunday night on two separate flights.

The country received three million additional doses of China-made Sinovac vaccines purchased by the national government, which arrived around 5:50 p.m. on Sunday on board Philippine Airlines flight 359, while some 2,020,590 doses of American-made Pfizer vaccines arrived later that evening at around 11:51 p.m. on board Emirates Air from the COVAX Facility via Abu Dhabi.

An additional 561,600 more doses of the Pfizer vaccine will have arrived Monday evening at the NAIA Terminal 3.

The US government has supported the Philippines’ COVID-19 pandemic response and mitigation efforts through the various medical supplies and equipment it has provided under the United States Agency for International Development or USAID.

“We’re also very happy that the United States has been able to contribute P1.9 billion to the Philippines for treatment, for testing, for equipment like ICU beds and other things that we can work with the Philippines to fight COVID,” US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava said during an interview. – Rudy Santos, Jose Rodel Clapano

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