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FDA: Vaccinating children vs. COVID-19 would mean 12M to 14M more people to vaccinate

The Philippines will have to vaccinate an additional 12 to 14 million people if the government will allow vaccination against COVID-19 on children aged 17 and below, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Monday.

FDA Director General Eric Domingo made the announcement five months since the government started its COVID-19 vaccination program and with FDA only approving Pfizer-BioNTech for administration on children aged 12 to 17 and below.

“If we are going to include those 12 to 17 years old [in our vaccination program], that would mean additional 12 to 14 million [people to be vaccinated],” Domingo said durinf the Laging Handa briefing.

“Rest assured that like the vaccine approved for adults, we will not be giving these to children unless it is safe and effective,” Domingo added.

Chinese vaccine Sinovac is already applying for emergency use authorization (EUA) for  the use of its COVID-19 vaccine on children aged 3 to 17, but this is still under evaluation by the country’s Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP).


Likewise, Domingo said the EUA application of Novavax for its COVID-19 vaccine will be decided within 21 days.

“As long as they already submitted all the requirements, it (approval) should not be a problem,” he added.

The Philippines is eyeing to vaccinate 76.3 million people by the end of the year to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, a figure that does not include children aged 17 and below.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. has said that the country’s existing COVID-19 vaccine supply is short of at least 42 million doses.

The Health Department has also said that amid the emergence of the more contagious Delta variant, COVID-19 cases across all age groups has been increasing — RSJ, GMA News