September 23, 2023

The Department of Health 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.

DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said they are ready once a regulatory clearance from the Food and Drug Administration  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 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 FDA, but currently wala pa, currently evaluating pa rin tayo dun sa Sinovac na 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,” she added.

The DOH conducted on Dec. 5 to 7 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.

Currently, the percentage of five to 11 years old who are fully vaccinated with the anti-Covid-19 is 50 percent.

Vergeire said this is 49.3 percent of the target population for the said age group. – PNA