According to the Department of Health (DOH) yesterday, those aged 16-17 with congenital comorbidities can also be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Kung meron hong isang bata na 16 to 17-year-old with comorbidity na kasama sa ating rekomendasyon maaari naman siyang mabigyan. Kailangan lang mayroon siyang clearance mula sa kanyang doctor,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
But according to vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, it is necessary to buy about 60 million doses of the vaccine if children are included in the government’s vaccination program.
Children are not included in the priority groups because, according to Vergeire, they are at the lowest risk of being hospitalized or having a serious infection caused by COVID-19.
“Because of scarcity of supplies currently in the country atin munang itutuloy ang priority framework,” said Vergeire.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will now allow emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccines for a wider range of minors.
This was confirmed by the Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday with the issuance of a revised emergency use authorization (EUA) of the drug.
Ages 16-17 with comorbidities can also be vaccinated: DOH
The FDA document dated May 28, 2021, states the following:
“After due consideration, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hereby revises the EUA granted to Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to reflect requested change in the indication,” said FDA.
“The Pfizer- BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine shall be administered only by vaccination providers, and used only to prevent COVID-19 in individuals ages 12 and older.”
Before this, only 16-year-olds and older were allowed to receive the vaccine.
“The general consensus of our vaccine experts is to revisit pediatric and adolescent vaccination once our vaccine supply has stabilized. Vaccine Cluster through Sec. Charlie [Galvez] is doing all they can to secure the doses necessary to vaccinate the eligible population for free,” said Vergeire.
Commission on Higher Education Prospero de Vera had earlier said they had convened the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to vaccinate students against COVID-19 will speed up the face-to-face classes.
In March 2020, the on-site classes were delayed since President Rodrigo Duterte implemented community quarantine in Metro Manila.