Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Philippine medical team set to weigh Sinovac use in kids



Philippine medical team set to weigh Sinovac use in kids

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A truck that picked up one million more doses of Sinovac Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine at Ninoy Aquino International Airport arrives at the PharmaServ Express cold storage facility in Marikina city on Sunday morning. PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

Philippine medical team set to weigh Sinovac use in kids

Philippine government medical experts will review the clinical trial data of Sinovac Biotech after China approved the emergency use authorisation (EUA) for its Covid-19 vaccine in younger children and adolescents.

Dr Rontgene Solante, a member of the Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) and an infectious diseases specialist, on June 6 said the group would look into the trial data of the CoronaVac vaccine given to recipients age 3 to 17, “just like how we evaluated and approved the extended indication [of] Pfizer [for age] 12 to 15”.

But Dr Edsel Salvana, a member of the government’s Technical Advisory Group, said amending the EUA to cover a wider age range was “not automatic” and the Chinese drug manufacturer would still have to apply for it in the Philippines.

Still, Salvana welcomed China’s approval as “good news”, saying this could lead to more vaccines becoming available in the Philippines for the younger population to help speed up school reopening.

He said in a text message: “The FDA [Food and Drug Administration] actually just amended the EUA for Pfizer for 12 to 15 years [old].”

The agency has yet to formally announce its decision, though. Last week, its director general, Eric Domingo, said the drug regulator had received a “favourable” result of an evaluation by the VEP on the US-manufactured vaccine.

The original EUA issued to Pfizer indicated it was only for people 16 years old and above.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on May 27 recommended that everyone 12 years and older should get a Covid-19 vaccine.

The VEP’s Solante said in a Viber message: “Children are as vulnerable [to Covid] as adults. There are already reports in other countries with increasing cases [among] children, that’s why the approval of Pfizer was also fast-tracked for this age group, especially in the United States and Europe.”

On June 6, the Philippines took one million doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac, increasing the country’s vaccine stockpile to 9.3 million that includes other brands like AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Sputnik V.

Sinovac’s EUA in the Philippines, as well as the World Health Organisation’s emergency use listing, currently recommends its use in people 18 years old and above.

The government was due to start vaccinating front-line workers on June 7, estimated at 35.5 million in the identified “essential” sectors.

“There will be a ceremonial rollout of vaccination for the A4 group,” health secretary Francisco Duque III said on June 6, using the designation for vaccine priority workers.

“It is crucial that we already start vaccinating them as they are our economic front-liners,” he added.

PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused

  • PM sets tourism reopening as centrepiece of ATF 2022

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged ASEAN to reopen tourism and trade now that many of the bloc’s member countries have vaccinated their populations. Speaking at the 40th ASEAN Tourism Forum 2022 (ATF 2022) in Preah Sihanouk province on January 18, the premier also said ASEAN has a