MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) confirmed that there are cases of COVID-19 among the country’s younger population.
However, no severe cases of COVID-19 among children have been recorded yet as the disease mostly affects the older age groups.
Though minors are considered low-risk, they still have to get vaccinated, according to a pediatric group.
“Kahit paano tinatamaan pa rin sila. Hindi naman natin masasabi kung sinong bata ang tatamaan at sino ang hindi. At least, protektado sila,” said Dr. Maria Karmela Kasala, spokesperson of the Philippine Pediatric Society.
Kasala said there are vaccines for minors that are under clinical trials in other countries.
“Other vaccine companies are also doing their own trials for these younger children. We have to wait for the results of those trials, at kapag nareview at na-evaluate na ng ating mga vaccine experts itong mga bagong studies sa mga kabataan. Kung nararapat sa ating (nakababatang) populasyon ay gagawan ng paraan para maipasok na sa priority vaccine rollout,” Kasala said.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently allowed the emergency use of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccines for minors aged 12 to 15.
Meanwhile, China has also allowed the use Sinovac’s CoronaVac on children as young as three years old.
As for the Philippines, there is no approval yet from the government to inoculate the younger population with available COVID-19 vaccines.
“Pero wala pang polisiya kung paano natin i-ro-rollout ang mga bakuna para dito sa mga edad na ito,” Kasala said.
She added that clinical trials on COVID-19 vaccines are ongoing around the world, but no results have been published yet.
“Ang ating mga bakuna, ang lahat ay naka-EUA pa sa buong mundo. In normal times, hindi pa iyan papayagang maibenta kasi kailangan ng certificate of product registration, at nakaraan sa clinical trial phase 4,” Kasala explained.
“Hindi na tayo umabot sa Phase 4 dahil nasa emergency pandemic tayo globally,” she said.