MANILA, Oct 19 (Mabuhay) –The Department of Health has approved the use of the Sinovac’s CoronaVac anti-COVID-19 vaccine for children aged six to 17, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergerie said Tuesday.

A community nurse administers a Covid19 vaccination shot to a boy at a mall in Metro Manila. (MNS photo)

On recommendation by the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC), Vergeire said that the Sinovac vaccine may now be used for the administration of the primary vaccine series for the said age group.

This is said to be an alternative for the mRNA vaccines currently available in the country.

“Ang mga tagubilin hinggil sa pag-apruba nito ay na-issue na natin kahapon through a Department memorandum at maaari na po itong umpisahan ang implementasyon,” Vergeire said at a press briefing.

The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May approved the emergency use authorization (EUA) of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 to 11 years old.

The EUA for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5 to 11 years old, on the other hand, was approved by the Philippine FDA in December 2021.

Based on DOH’s latest data, there are 10 million adolescents and almost 5.2 million children who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

There are 73.4 million Filipinos in total who have completed their primary vaccine series.

Of which, 20.3 million have received their first booster dose, while more than 3.2 million have received their second booster dose. (MNS)