Trials show 3 vaccine brands safe also for minors — experts | Inquirer News
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Trials show 3 vaccine brands safe also for minors — experts

/ 05:46 AM June 25, 2021
Vials with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine labels are seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021

FILE PHOTO: Vials with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine labels are seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

MANILA, Philippines — Clinical trials conducted on the Sinovac, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have shown that these brands currently being administered on adults are likely to be safe also for minors, according to a member of the interim National Immunization Task Group for COVID-19.

In terms of efficacy, preliminary results from the Pfizer trial showed the vaccine gave better protection to persons younger than 18, Dr. Mary Ann Bunyi said at the Laging Handa briefing on Thursday.

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The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for minors aged 12 to 15.

Bunyi, who is also a member of the Philippine Pediatric Society and Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society of the Philippines, said she agreed with the government policy to prioritize the older population, among them health care workers, seniors, and adults with co-morbidities, given that “our (vaccine) supplies are limited.”

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As to reports about young adults aged 16 to 26 who have experienced myocarditis or heart inflammation after getting Pfizer jabs, Bunyi said the cases need to be studied to confirm if the heart ailment was caused by the vaccine.

NCR as priority

In the same press briefing, Dr. Fr. Nicanor Austriaco of the University of Sto. Tomas, who advises the government’s pandemic task force, said the National Capital Region must continue to be prioritized for the country to achieve containment or herd immunity by the end of the year.

“We must build a COVID-proof wall around the NCR. This is the pattern: it starts at the NCR and moves to the provinces. So (if) we vaccinate the NCR, we prevent the virus from traveling to the provinces… (We’d) be building a wall around the Philippines by vaccinating the NCR Plus 8,” Austriaco said.

But the strategy does not mean excluding the rest of the country, he added, citing government data which showed that 65 percent of the vaccine are allocated to NCR Plus 8, and 35 percent to the rest of the country.

Austriaco said Filipinos who live in rural areas are currently protected from the Delta variants since the carriers, who are returning international travelers, usually pass through the NCR or other urban areas where are supposed to be detected and isolated, before being allowed to leave for their home provinces.

Case updates

The Department of Health on Thursday recorded 6,043 new cases of COVID-19, which brought the total case tally in the country to 1,378,260.

Another 108 deaths have meanwhile pushed the total death toll to 24,036, while 4,486 recoveries brought the total number of survivors to 1,302,814.

There are still 51,410 active cases, or currently sick individuals, majority or 90.6 percent of whom are mild cases, 4.5 percent asymptomatic, 1.4 percent in critical condition, 2 percent with severe symptoms and 1.44 percent with moderate symptoms. —Jerome Aning and Patricia Denise M. Chiu

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TAGS: coronavirus vaccines, Dr. Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, National Capital Region, National Immunization Task Group for COVID-19, OCTA Research
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