Lawmakers ask to not roll out Pfizer vaccine to children yet despite EUA
MANILA, Philippines — Two lawmakers on Wednesday appealed to the national government not to roll out yet the US-made Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children even though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its green light for emergency use on minors 12 to 15 years old.
In a hearing, 1-PACMAN party-list Rep. Eric Pineda pointed out that children are not among those severely affected by COVID-19 and the vaccines are still experimental, given their emergency use authorization (EUA).
“Sana naman po kahit pinayagan na, ‘wag muna natin ipa-rollout sa mga bata. Dahil hindi naman talaga sila naaapektuhan ng COVID-19 na ‘to, not like talaga ‘yung matatanda na, so wag na natin gamitin ‘yung mga bata muna, baka magkaroon tayo ng second round ng Dengvaxia dito,” he said.
(I hope that even though it has an emergency use authorization, we would not roll this out yet to children because they are not affected unlike the elderly. So we should not use this yet to children because we may have another round of Dengvaxia.)
For Bagong Henerasyon partylist Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, using COVID-19 vaccines on children should need more study since the vaccines are still experimental and long-term effects of the vaccine on children are still being studied.
“Feeling ko kailangang pag-aralan muna ito nang masusing masusi,” she said in the same hearing.
(I feel that this should be studied further.)
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the Department of Health (DOH) will still study this, but pointed out that 12 to 15 year olds are still not among the priority for COVID-19 vaccination.
At present, the government is focusing on vaccinating medical frontliners, senior citizens, persons with comorbidities and economic frontliners.
“Maganda po talaga na maghintay at sang-ayon ako sa inyong posisyon na mas magandang pag-aralan pa ito at ibigay natin sa Pediatric Society of the Philippines na tignan at sumang-ayon din sila na pag-aaralan pa rin nila ito,” Duque said.
(It is better to wait and study this further. We should give this to the Pediatric Society of the Philippines to look into it and they agreed that this should be studied more.)
He said the DOH has no policy or guidelines yet on the inoculation of children.
“I think prudence dictates that we wait, we give it more time as to what experiences of the other countries that have boldly introduced this vaccination program even to the pediatric age group,” he added.
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