Metro Manila — After China approved the use of Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine on children and adolescents, the Department of Health said it is open to the possibility of following suit.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the country may also carry out similar guidelines if CoronaVac is found safe and effective for people aged three to 17.
“Kapag nabuo na nila ang kanilang ebidensya, nakumpleto nila ang trial at nagsumite sila dito sa Pilipinas ng revision ng kanilang EUA, pag-aaralan yan ng ating mga eksperto,” she said in a media briefing. “Kung mapatunayan natin na ito ay magiging ligtas and it’s going to protect our children, of course the Philippines will be open to this.”
[Translation: If they complete their trial and they submit a revision in their EUA, our experts will study that. If it’s proven safe and if it can protect our children, of course the Philippines will be open to this.]
Pfizer previously applied for an amendment to its emergency use authorization to include children 12 to 15 years old.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said at least 60 million doses are needed to vaccinate the pediatric age group.
“Ang implication niyan, we need to buy more vaccine, more or less 60 million. Ang ginawa po natin, ngayon ongoing po ang ating mga negotiations sa ating pharmaceutical companies at vaccine companies para at least maka-increase tayo from original 158 million to 202 million [doses] kasama na po ang COVAX,” he said in a separate briefing.
[Translation: The implication of this is that we need to buy more or less additional 60 million doses. We have ongoing negotiations with companies to increase our purchase from 158 million to 202 million doses, this will include vaccines from COVAX.]
The country has so far received 9.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, including 6.5 million Sinovac shots.