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Philippines open to study use of Sinovac jab for kids, adolescents

Gaea Katreena Cabico ( – June 7, 2021 – 6: 07pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health said Monday it was open to the possibility of using the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech in children and adolescents.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said local experts will study the use of CoronaVac in younger groups once the Chinese drugmaker submits an amendment to its emergency use authorization.

“If they have complete evidence, have finished their trial and they submit a revision in their EUA in the country, our experts will study it,” Vergeire said in a briefing.

“If it’s proven safe and if it’s going to protect our children, of course the Philippines will be open to this,” she added.

The EUA granted to the Sinovac jab in February allowed its use for clinically healthy aged 18 to 59 years. In April, the country’s Food and Drug Administration approved the recommendation to expand the use of the vaccine in senior citizens as the country faced a surge in COVID-19 infection.

Last week, China approved the emergency use of CoronaVac in people aged between three and 17.

The World Health Organization recently gave a greenlight to Sinovac’s two-dose CoronaVac. The WHO’s emergency use listing gives countries assurance that the vaccine has met international standards.

American pharmaceutical firm previously applied for an amendment to its EUA to include 12 to 15-years old, the head of the country’s FDA said last month.

Since the country began its inoculation efforts in March, only 1.5 million people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Meanwhile, over 4.4 million have received their first dose.

The Philippines launched Monday the vaccination of the working population against COVID-19. About 35 million Filipinos belong to the fourth priority group.

As It Happens

LATEST UPDATE: June 11, 2021 – 12: 13pm

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 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.

LOOK: Lumapag na sa NAIA Terminal 3 ang eroplanong may karga ng mahigit 2 milyong doses ng Pfizer vaccines na donasyon ng Covax Facility | @News5PH @onenewsph

— Justinne Punsalang ???? (@thisjustinne) June 10, 2021

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.

May 19, 2021 – 2: 21pm

Vice President Leni Robredo has been vaccinated against COVID-19 at a vaccination center in Quezon City.

Robredo, who received her first dose of the AstraZeneca jab, is in the A3 ( people with comorbidities) category.

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