As vaccinations for the coronavirus illness 2019 (Covid-19) continue to arrive in the country, the National Task Force Against Covid-19’s top implementer stated they are now looking into include youngsters in the government’s immunization campaign.
Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. made the statement on Sunday in reaction to news that children with severe cases of coronavirus had been brought to the Philippine General Hospital’s pediatric Covid-19 unit (PGH).
“During our conversation with the people, we informed President (Rodrigo Duterte) of this, and we said that during the Delta assault in India, more than 9,000 people in a hamlet were children. We suggested to the NITAG (interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group) that children be included as soon as possible since they will be susceptible, especially children with comorbidities.
We’ve observed in PGH that the three critical patients there, dalawa doon, may have comorbidities (two of them do). Very susceptible and bata kasi nakikita natin hindi pa ganun kalakas kanilang resistensya (their resistance is not yet that strong) in terms of lung diseases,” Galvez said on the sidelines of the arrival of 326,400 doses of Moderna vaccine at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City.
“We’re looking into it, and we’re hoping to open up pediatrics and adolescent immunization by the end of September or October.” He said, “Meron kami nine-negotiate na (We are negotiating for) around 26 million doses meant for our pediatrics vaccine.”
Galvez stated that the age bracket they are targeting for immunization is 12 to 17 years old.
“At first, we’ll start from 12 to 17,” says the narrator. The priority demographic is those aged 18 and up. Pfizer submitted for an EUA (emergency use permission) with our Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and FDA authorized it; Sinovac also applied, and FDA will most likely approve it. Sinovac is for those aged three and above. Once we have a sufficient supply of those vaccinations, we can begin using them for as long as the specialists allow it for children aged 12 and up, and maybe three years and up,” he added.
Meanwhile, Galvez stated that the government will get 224,400 doses of the freshly delivered Moderna vaccinations, with the remaining 102,000 doses going to port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI).
“Ang bibigyan nito ay ang regions na mayroong spike dito sa Metro Manila, considering that ang Moderna nakita natin, volumes ngayon are limited.” The focus for fighting the variation will be in the NCR and other surge regions (because to the restricted supply of Moderna, we will distribute it in areas suffering a surge here in Metro Manila). The National Capital Region and other surge regions would be the focus of the fight against the variant),” he added.
Galvez further stated that the freshly supplied vaccinations would be prioritized for the remaining unvaccinated medical front-line workers (A1), senior citizens (A2), and those with comorbidities (A3).
Galvez said 90,000 doses of Moderna will be provided to meet the objective of 4 million injections to scale up the immunization campaign during the lockdown period from Aug. 6-20 in Metro Manila, which is now under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
“When we get two dosages, it has a huge impact on the variations. It avoids severe and serious instances, as well as mortality, even on the Delta variant. Ang effect ng immunization natin ay malaki (Our vaccination has a big impact). It truly saves lives, and the vaccinations are capable of defeating all variants,” Galvez explained.
He said that as of Aug. 8, the total number of vaccine doses provided in the country had reached 24,174,821, with 13 million Filipinos having already gotten their first dose and 11 million having had their full vaccination.
Galvez further stated that another 14.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccination will be supplied to the country this month.
The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccination in teenagers, enabling individuals aged 12 and above to receive it.
Moderna requested for an amendment to the emergency use authorization (EUA) on their vaccine two weeks ago, and it has since been authorized by vaccine specialists and the FDA’s regulatory body, according to FDA Director General Undersecretary Eric Domingo in a Laging Handa briefing on Friday.
“In-approve na namin ngayong araw na ito ang paggamit—under EUA—ng Moderna vaccine for those aged 12 to 17 (We have approved the use of the Moderna vaccination for those aged 12 to 17 under EUA today),” Domingo added.
Similar to previous mRNA vaccines like the Pfizer BioNTech, Domingo warned health workers in charge of delivering the vaccination to keep an eye out for “very rare” cases of myocarditis, or heart inflammation.
“At mas nakikita sa mga younger guys, nakikita sa mga very few, very seldom, siguro few in several million. So ito lamang ang dapat bantayan (It can be discovered in a very small number of cases, perhaps a few in a million, and it is more prevalent among younger guys.) So that’s what we’ll be looking out for),” Domingo added.
With the rising number of cases and community transmission of the highly infectious Delta form of the coronavirus, scientists have determined that the vaccine’s advantages “outweigh the danger,” he added.
Moderna has submitted to the US FDA for full clearance, and the findings are likely to be revealed within the month, he said.
Despite rumors that Japan has halted the administration of the Moderna vaccine owing to contamination, he stated the batches accessible in the country are safe to use.
“Kinonfirm natin’yung mga dosages na dineliver sa Pilipinas ay hindi po kasama sa batches under investigation,” Domingo added.
At least three batches of the vaccine are presently being checked for stainless steel particles, which might be the result of broken machinery on the manufacturing line, according to him.
He went on to say that the discoveries on the tainted batches had had no influence on the vaccine’s safety or efficacy thus far.
“Dito po satin ay tuloy ang paggamit ng Moderna vaccine,” says the author (Here in our country, we will continue using the Moderna vaccine). “There’s no reason to halt it right now,” Domingo added.
He also emphasized the need of thoroughly examining vaccination vials before aspiration and injection to assure their safety.