The vaccination of children aged 12 to 17 years old against COVID-19 could start by the end of September or October, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said on August 8.
At the press conference after the arrival of Moderna vaccines in the Philippines, Galvez also mentioned that they need 26 million doses of vaccines for the inoculation of adolescents in the country. (Read: Survey Says More Filipinos Now Willing to Get COVID-19 Vaccine)
“Once we have a supply of those vaccines, we can start. For as long as experts already allowed us to use these vaccines for 12 years and above or maybe three years and above,” Galvez stated in a news report from GMA.
Importance of vaccine to children
Aside from senior citizens and those with comorbidities, children are also more vulnerable to COVID-19. Recently, the Department of Health (DOH) showed in data that the number of COVID-19 cases among children has increased by almost 30% amid the threat of the Delta variant. (Read: Here’s The Truth About The Delta COVID-19 Variant That You Should Know)
Since the hospitals are in full capacity again due to the rising Delta variant cases, several healthcare workers suggest having the children inoculated as soon as possible to protect them from containing the virus.
In another news report from GMA, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) director-general Eric Domingo previously said experts gave “very favorable” recommendations on the use of the Pfizer vaccine on minors.
Safety and efficacy for children
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends COVID-19 vaccination for everyone, including 12 years of age and older to help protect against the virus, which means all vaccines are safe and effective. (Read: Common COVID-19 Vaccine Fake News And Myths–Debunked!)
In June, DOH announced that the FDA has given a EUA (emergency use authorization) to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use on those aged 12 to 17 years old. BioNTech-Pfizer announced in March that it is 100% effective.
In a statement the company said that phase 3 trials carried out on 2,260 adolescents in the United States “demonstrated 100 percent efficacy and robust antibody responses.”
Meanwhile, Sinovac has requested the FDA for approval to use its vaccines on children and adolescents. (Read: DOH: Minors Aged 16 to 17 With Comorbidity Can Get Vaccine)
Galvez clarified that once the vaccination for children aged 12 to 17 years old began, it still depends on the supply of vaccines in the country.