DOH says teens won’t be included in vaccine drive for now
MANILA, Philippines — Teenagers between 12 to 15 years of age will have to wait before getting their coronavirus vaccine shots due to the country’s limited vaccine supply, the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday.
While vaccination for their age group is being considered, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said high-risk groups like those of health workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities remain the priority for inoculation.
“Kinukunsidera natin lahat iyan, pinag-aaralan din yan kasalukuyan ng ating vaccine expert panel,” Duque said in a televised briefing when asked if teens from 12 to 15 years old may soon be included in the vaccination drive.
(We are considering that the vaccine expert panel is studying that.)
“Pero dapat linawin natin na dahil kulang pa ang bakuna at hindi naman sila kabilang doon sa tinatawag natin na high-risk group, hindi muna natin sila pwede isama ngayon. Dahil kulang na nga tayo e dapat talagang itulak natin ang mabilisang bakunahan para sa senior citizens, A2 at A3 (persons with comorbidities),” he added.
(But we must make it clear that we cannot include them yet because of our limited vaccine supply and they are not among the high-risk groups. Because of the lack of vaccines, we must push for faster vaccination of senior citizens, A2 and A3.)
The country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it may allow the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to those aged 12 to 15, taking after the United States, which has given an emergency use authorization (EUA) to administer the vaccine shots on the same age group.
FDA chief Eric Domingo said Pfizer already applied for an amendment of its EUA to also administer their vaccine on teens in this age group.
Pfizer’s existing EUA states it can be administered to individuals 16 years old and above.
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