MANILA – The country could start administering COVID-19 boosters to children ages 12 to 17 as early as next week after health authorities submitted their recommendations, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Saturday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Food and Drug Administration has amended the emergency use authorization of Pfizer on Tuesday, June 14, so it can be used as a third dose for the age bracket.
Two days later, the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC), a body that guides authorities on the implications of health policies, submitted its recommendations to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
"We are just waiting for the approval of the secretary and hopefully by next week we can be able to implement. Kailangan lang antayin ng local governments ang guidelines na ibibigay," Vergeire said in a public briefing.
Duque's signature, a "key factor" for the development, will trigger his agency to craft the guidelines for the booster rollout that local governments must follow, she said.
"Kung saka-sakaling mapirmahan na, posible po na maaari na tayong mag-umpisa by next week once guidelines are out," said Vergeire.
The country began the COVID-19 vaccination of ages 12 to 17 in October last year.
Some 12 million individuals belong in the sector.
Video from PTV
More details to follow.