Vaccine panel waiting for Pfizer to seek permission on using COVID-19 jab for teens
A nurse holds a vial of a Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Hospital Posta Central in Santiago, on January 15, 2021.
AFP/Claudio Reyes

Vaccine panel waiting for Pfizer to seek permission on using COVID-19 jab for teens

(Philstar.com) - May 12, 2021 - 4:14pm

MANILA, Philippines — The head of the vaccine experts panel on Wednesday said they are awaiting request from foreign drugmakers to use their developed COVID-19 jab on those belonging to younger age groups.

Regulators in the United States this week cleared Pfizer's vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds there, a significant development for protecting children from the virus.

Over a Laging Handa briefing, Dr. Nina Gloriani said Pfizer would only need to have its emergency use approval in the country amended for this. 

"We actually look forward to that because this will address vaccination to age groups that other vaccines could not cover at present," she said in Filipino.

The manufacturer secured its EUA from the Food and Drug Administration in January.

An initial 193,050 doses from the COVAX facility also arrived this week, but this jab is only allowed so far for 16 and above.

Gloriani, however, said the first supply of Pfizer is still unlikely to be administered to children. She said the country would still have to follow its priority list for health workers, senior citizens and those with comorbidities.

Apart from the said vaccine, the VEP chief added Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are conducting studies on this too. The former, she said, is holding studies for inoculating children as young as six months to 11-years-old.

"Moderna is coming second to Pfizer and it will soon apply for amendment to their EUA," Gloriani said. "I think they're targeting around September this year."

The FDA has cleared Moderna too for emergency use. Its first doses could arrive in the country by June, according to senior administration officials.

Government had signed a supply deal for 20 million doses, but has yet to finalize the purchase. 

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: June 15, 2021 - 12:23pm

The national government has so far secured two official deals for COVID-19 vaccine supplies in the Philippines, one with Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac and another with the Serum Institute of India.

Watch this space for bite-sized developments on the vaccines in the Philippines. (Main image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash)

June 15, 2021 - 12:23pm

Japan is donating AstraZeneca vaccines to the Philippines, Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko announces on his Twitter account.

"[W]e'll make sure to deliver them at the soonest possible time so no one gets left behind during this pandemic," he also says.

June 11, 2021 - 12:13pm

Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo says that as far as he knows all of the sitting justices of the Supreme Court have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

He says the court asked for justices to be classified as A4. Some of the justices are also already senior citizens.

June 10, 2021 - 8:58pm

More than 2 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines from the Covax facility arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Thursday night.

More than 200,000 doses will be distributed to Cebu and Davao while the remaining doses are for Metro Manila.

June 10, 2021 - 7:48am

Another 1 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine have arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Vaccination of economic frontliners, or workers in the A4 category, kicked off this month.

June 7, 2021 - 10:21am

The government marks the rollout of vaccines for the A4, or economic frontliners, category with a ceremony at a mall in Pasay City.

Around 35 million Filipinos are in the priority group, which has been expanded to include all who are required to physically report to work.

Pandemic restrictions have seen some Filipinos shift to remote work or work-from-home arrangements but many employees, especially those in the service sector, do not have that option.

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