The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the agency is looking at allowing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to be injected into children aged 12 to 15 years old.
In a briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte, FDA director-general Eric Domingo said Pfizer sent them an amendment to children aged 12 to 15 in the emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine.
“Ang ating mga experts, in-evaluate. In fact, early this evening, I already got the recommendations of our experts, and it’s very favorable,” Domingo said.
“Within the week, we will issue an amendment, and we will be able to use it in children of 12 to 15 years old,” he added.
Doming said the US FDA already approved this amendment and has started using Pfizer vaccines for the age group.
Last week, Senator Sonny Angara urged the FDA to begin studying the vaccination of persons under 18 years old.
Angara made the call citing that FDAs in other countries such as Singapore and the United States allowed vaccination of minors.
“This is a signal for us to commence our own independent studies on the matter,” Angara said.
Initially, the US only approved the inoculation of aged 16 to 85 years old.
FDA to allow children to be vaccinated with Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
The senator said allowing the use of certain vaccines to specific age groups is the “prudent thing to do.”
“Yung nasa basic education natin, mga 28 million sila. Yung nasa tertiary, mga 3.4 million. If combined, their total population would put them in the Top 50 countries. Bigger than Australia’s 25 million,” Angara pointed out.
(In basic education schools alone, there are 28 million Filipinos while those in the tertiary is at 3.4 million. If combined, their total population would put them in the Top 50 countries. That is bigger than Australia’s 25 million.)
He noted that vaccinating school-age children would protect the “largest population group” from the virus.
“Outsmarting the virus requires the vaccination of students. There will be no return to normalcy, no herd immunity if they are not vaccinated,” he said.
Angara added that inoculating the younger age group would be a game-changer for the country and the economy.