MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 and above, providing another vaccine option for this age group in the country.
Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire confirmed this in a text message to Rappler on Monday, March 14.
“[The] DOH still has to issue implementing guidelines for this,” Vergeire said.
In July 2021, Chinese drugmaker Sinovac submitted a request to the Philippine FDA to amend its EUA so that its vaccine, called CoronaVac, could be used on children. (READ: Philippine FDA studying use of Sinovac vaccine on kids)
An EUA clears the way for vaccines and medicines to be used by the public even while these are still in the development phase. This, however, is not equivalent to a certificate of product registration or authorization to market the product.
China allowed the use of CoronaVac among kids in June 2021, with the company saying the jab successfully triggered an immune response among the age group. Only mild adverse reactions were reported.
Last February 7, the Philippines started vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 against the deadly virus, using the Pfizer vaccine.
To date, COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and Sinovac are the only shots approved for pediatric use in the Philippines.