The Philippine government has approved to amend the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to allow it to be used by those aged 12 to 17.
“After a thorough evaluation by our vaccine experts and our regulatory experts in FDA, we approved this Friday the use under EUA of the Moderna vaccine for adolescents aged 12 to 17,” according to Director General Eric Domingo of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at the Always Ready public briefing held on Friday.
Moderna applied for a EUA amendment to the FDA on August 19.
However, Domingo cautioned about rare cases of “myocarditis” with the Moderna vaccine, which also occurs with other similar mRNA vaccines.
According to the official, one in a million cases of myocarditis and more are seen in young men.
“But definitely, with the Delta variant affecting a lot of children, our experts saw that the benefit of using the vaccine outweighs the risk,” he explained.
In an interview with Super Radyo dzBB, Domingo explained that myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle. It is said to be treatable when seen immediately.
The official also said that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the Department of Health will set the priority group for ages 12-17 who can now be vaccinated.
FDA approves Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for ages 12-17
It is being studied whether adolescents with comorbidities will be allowed to be vaccinated. It is possible to do this in October or the fourth quarter of 2021.
Children with comorbidities include obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and congenital or metabolic disorders, according to Domingo.
He added that the vaccine’s side effects in children are “mild” compared to older ones. These include mild pains and fever.
Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. had earlier said that once vaccination is allowed in ages 12 to 17, it is possible to carry it out in September or October defense volume of vaccine supply.
Domingo also said that the Moderna doses in the Philippines were not the same batch as the contaminated doses under investigation in Japan.