MANILA - The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Wednesday said pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Moderna are preparing to seek Emergency Use Authorizations for their COVID-19 vaccines to be administered to children.
Pfizer is "targeting around September of this year," while Moderna said they might already have child-friendly vaccines by the end of the year, said Dr. Nina Gloriani, head of the DOST's vaccine expert panel.
"Ang mga pag-aaral ng Pfizer ay napakabilis for these younger children... Hintayin na lang po natin na mag-apply sila ng EUA sa atin," she told state television PTV.
(Pfizer has been quick to study these vaccines for younger children... Let's just wait for them to apply for an EUA.)
"We look forward to that kasi maa-address niya 'yung pagbabakuna sa isang age group na hindi natin makakaya with the other vaccines," she said.
(We look forward to that because that can address the vaccination of an age group that cannot be inoculated with the other vaccines.)
The United States earlier approved the use of Pfizer vaccines for children aged between 12 and 15-years old.
Pfizer's vaccines for children showed promising results as none of the 1,000 children inoculated with the drug were infected with COVID-19, Gloriani said.
Pfizer and Moderna are also conducting studies on the efficacy of COVID-19 jabs for youngsters aged between 6 months and 11-years old, she said.
"This is a bigger study. Siguro mga 6,000 to 7,000 ang kailangan na participants hindi kagaya nitong mga 12-15 years old na hanggang 3,000 lang ang naging participants," she said.
(This is a bigger study. It involves between 6,000 and 7,000 participants unlike the study for 12-15-years old that onlyn invovled up to 3,000 participants.)
Minors in the Philippines have been ordered to stay indoors since March 2020, after the government suspended physical classes to avoid spreading the disease in classrooms and schools.
The Philippines is hoping to inoculate some 70 million individuals by the end of the year to achieve herd immunity against the disease, which has infected at least 1 million people in the country.
So far, only 514,000 Filipinos have received 2 doses of the vaccine, while 2 million others have been jabbed with their first dose, according to data from the DOH.