A VACCINE expert believes that Filipino children aged 5 years old and below can now be vaccinated against COVID-19 to complete the country’s immunization coverage.
Vaccine Expert Panel head Dr. Nina Glorianni, however, said during the Laging Handa public briefing that they need to consult a doctor first since children with ailments are the ones prioritized to receive COVID-19 vaccination since they are the ones more exposed to contract the virus.
In the US, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) already approved the use of the Pfizer vaccines for this age and based on studies, the side effects for children and adults are the same such as inflammation of vaccine site, fever, and other effects that are only mild to moderate.
In terms of immunogenicity, Glorianni said that the antibody response of kids is slightly higher at about 1.2 to 1.3 compared to those 16 years old up to 25 years old and above.
The efficacy of Pfizer vaccines against COVID-19 for kids, says Glorianni, is at 76 up to 80 percent.
For now, they are simply awaiting for Pfizer to apply with the Philippine Food and Drug Administration to be able to give the vaccines to children 5 years old and below.
On the other hand, Moderna is already collating data to be able to apply as well with the FDA since at this time, Moderna is approved to administer COVID-19 vaccines only to kids 6-11 years old.