DOH: FDA approves Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15

Published June 8, 2021, 1:31 PM

by Analou de Vera

In this file photo taken on March 4, 2021 vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 are seen. (Luis ACOSTA / AFP / FILE PHOTO)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 12 to 15, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on Tuesday, June 8.

This was bared by DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire when asked if the FDA already approved the amended emergency use authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Last May 26, FDA-Director General Rolando Enrique Domingo said that Pfizer has applied for an amendment on its vaccine’s EUA to allow its use on children between 12 to 15 years of age.

“After due consideration, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hereby revises the EUA granted to Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to reflect requested change in the indication,” based on the amended EUA document of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provided by the DOH.

“The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine shall be administered only by vaccination providers, and used only to prevent COVID-19 in individuals ages 12 and older,” it added.

Even though the vaccine is already approved for ages 12 to 15, Vergeire said that the government will still stick with its vaccine prioritization.

“While we welcome more vaccines that are approved for children and adolescents, due to limited vaccine supply, our vaccination strategy remains the same — prioritize the vulnerable and adhere to our prioritization framework,” she said in a text message.

“The general consensus of our vaccine experts is to revisit pediatric and adolescent vaccination once our vaccine supply has stabilized,” she added.

At present, the government is conducting simultaneous vaccination for healthcare frontliners, senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, and essential workers.

The country’s vaccine cluster through Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr is “doing all they can to secure the doses necessary to vaccinate all eligible population for free,” said Vergeire.