Gov't finalizing guidelines on Sinovac jab for kids age 6 and up

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 15 2022 01:33 PM | Updated as of Mar 15 2022 06:37 PM

Scheduled residents receive thier second jab of Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine at Potrero Elementary School in Malabon City on July 7, 2021. Malabon, along with six other Metro Manila cities have limited or temporarily suspended first-dose vaccinations due to low vaccine supply. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Scheduled residents receive thier second jab of Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine at Potrero Elementary School in Malabon City on July 7, 2021. Malabon, along with six other Metro Manila cities have limited or temporarily suspended first-dose vaccinations due to low vaccine supply. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATED) - Government is drafting guidelines on the use of Sinovac for children age 6 and above, an official said Tuesday.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week granted emergency use authorization for the Chinese vaccine brand.

The dose and formulation for adults will also be used for children, according to Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, head of the National Vaccination Operations Center.

"Ang nasa EUA ng Sinovac are for healthy individuals so baka hindi kasama ‘yung ating mga with comorbidities. Yun ang ating pinag-uusapan at fina-finalize natin ang guidelines together with our experts," she said in a televised briefing.

(What's stated on the EUA of Sinovac is it's for healthy individuals so children with comorbidities might not be included. That's what we're discussing and finalizing in our guidelines together with our experts.)

"Ang gagamitin para sa pediatric pareho lang po ng formulation ng adult. Ang Pfizer reformulated kasi spike protein-concentrated."

(What will be used for the pediatric group will be the same formulation for adults. Pfizer's jab was reformulated because it was spike protein-concentrated.)

The Health Technology Assessment Council has committed to review the Chinese vaccine brand within "2 weeks or less," according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

"Aantayin po nating matapos ang kanilang review at makapagbigay sila ng rekomendasyo bago po tayo makagpabuo ng guidelines natin coming from DOH," she said.

(We will wait for their review and recommendation before the DOH can draft guidelines.)

"At the same time, social preparation among local government is already underway para po sa pag-uumpisa kung sakali after 2 weeks nitong pagbabakuna ng Sinovac for 6 years old and above."

(At the same time, social preparation among local government is already underway in the event we will begin using Sinovac for 6 years old and above after 2 weeks.)

Sinovac will serve as an alternative as government has so far ordered enough vaccines for 7 million out of 15.5 million children ages 5 to 11, Cabotaje said. Government "might consider" ordering 5 million more doses of Pfizer's jab, she added.

"Sinovac will provide additional quantities for those who might not want to use Pfizer," she said.

A total of 1,233,017 children aged 5 to 11 have been inoculated since Pfizer jabs were rolled out last month, according to Vergeire. Of this figure, some 381,433 have been fully vaccinated, she said. 

Some 9.7 million children age 12 to 17 have received COVID-19 jabs, she added.

Government employees who will accompany their children to their COVID-19 vaccination may avail of special leave privileges, Vergeire said.

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Video courtesy of PTV