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FDA: Vaccine Registration For Minors May Start

FDA: Vaccine Registration For Minors May Start
A healthcare worker administers a Sinovac COVID vaccine on a minor during the Numolux/Sinovac pediatric COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Pretoria, South Africa on Sept. 10. The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the efficacy of two doses of CoronaVac against confirmed symptomatic cases in children aged six months to 17 years. Efficacy will also be evaluated against hospitalization and severe COVID-19 cases. The study worldwide will enroll 14,000 minors in various pediatric age groups across five countries: the Philippines, Chile, Kenya, Malaysia and South Africa. The Delta variant is driving pediatric COVID infections in many countries. Photo by AFP

The registration of children eligible for COVID-19 vaccination may start this early, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“It’s a great initiative on the part of LGUs (local government units) to start registering adolescents because we will eventually get there, at a time when we will already vaccinate children,” FDA director general Eric Domingo said in a virtual briefing on Thursday, Sept. 9.

“It would be good for LGUs to prepare now so that when the Department of Health (DOH) says we have enough supply, then we can already include these adolescents in the rollout,” he added.

If the plan to vaccinate the adolescent population pushes through, between 12 to 14 million will be added to the government’s vaccination drive, with Domingo noting at a public briefing that the country has a young population.

Domingo said LGUs could begin registering those aged 12 to 17 years, like what the municipality of Pateros is already doing since Sept. 8. Pateros Mayor Miguel “Ike” Ponce III

reminded the youth that their parents need to know that they are registering for the inoculation and that those who register first will be prioritized in the schedule for vaccination.

On Sept. 11, Makati Mayor Abby Binay and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno also urged minors to start registering for vaccination.

Moreno disclosed the city government launched its registration website for eligible minors.

Moreno said eligible students who live outside Manila are also welcome to register.

The Caloocan city government has tasked its teachers to profile students and to prepare a master list of those eligible, students aged 12 to 17 years, to get vaccines against COVID-19, the city’s vaccination coordinator, Dr. Rachel Basa, said on Sunday, Sept. 12.

Mayor Oscar Malapitan noted that nine out of 10 eligible minors in Caloocan are students. He noted that the city government has launched an online vaccine profiling form, which students could use to register.

He said that their parents would need to submit a consent form to the teachers.

The FDA previously approved the use of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for those aged below 18 years. However, the 12 to 17 years age group is not yet listed among the priority sectors for COVID vaccination.

The DOH has stressed that individuals most at risk of severe COVID-19 infection should be prioritized as the country waits for enough vaccine supply for the entire population. It advised parents and guardians, though, to get themselves vaccinated soonest to protect their children. – With Marc Jayson Cayabyab