MANILA – The Philippines Food and Drug Administration’s expert panel is “cautious” in evaluating the use of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine in children, its chief said Thursday.

FDA chief executive Eric Domingo said Sinovac was looking for a broad age range in its request to change the emergency use authorization in the country. Its CoronaVac is currently only given to people aged 18 and over, but the pharmaceutical company has requested that it be authorized for minors as young as 3 years old.

“Our experts are looking very closely at the data. They gave us the results of the clinical trials earlier this week,” Domingo told ANC’s Headstart.

“Medyo iniingatan lang talaga ng experts kasi ang laki ng range saka talagang mga bata (Experts are careful because the range is large and it will be for children). Three to 17 is a fairly large range. We are very careful when it comes to these are vaccines for children, ”he said.

He pointed out that Pfizer only applied to people aged 12 to 17. The FDA approved its emergency use in June.

Domingo said experts were also looking at the situation in Indonesia, where a panel recommended its FDA to approve Sinovac on minors.

“We are waiting to see if Indonesia will give approval for use in 3 to 17. For now, our experts are only really looking at the data. Yung safety ang gusto nilang ma-assure (They want to be assured of security), ”he said.

China has approved the use of Sinovac on minors, but Domingo said the country has yet to roll out real vaccination in children.

In the Philippines, only Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use in minors, who are not yet on the government’s priority recipient list.

However, there have been calls for urgent inoculation among this age group as more pediatric patients with the disease are reported.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has said he supports proposals to vaccinate the younger age group if there is sufficient supply.

The private sector would like to import Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for the children of its employees, according to Presidential Entrepreneurship Advisor Joey Concepcion.

ANC, ANC Top, ANC Exclusives, Erik Domingo, FDA, Food and Drug Administration, COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccine, COVID-19 vaccine for children, vaccination of children against COVID-19

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