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.
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.”
Even if Pfizer is available to 12-15-year-olds, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a report on Inquirer.net that they can only be vaccinated now if they have comorbidities and belongs in the government’s A3 prioritization. He said that there is still a lack of supply of vaccines today.
Prior to this, only 16-year-olds and older were allowed to receive the vaccine.
FDA approves Pfizer COVID-19 for 12-years-old and above
“While we welcome more vaccines that are approved for children and adolescents, due to limited vaccine supply, our vaccination strategy remains the same — prioritize the vulnerable and adhere to our prioritization framework,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
“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.”
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.
According to the last DOH record, Monday, COVID-19 has hit 1,276,004 people in the Philippines. Of that number, 21,969 people died.