(MNS photo)

MANILA, Mar 14 (Mabuhay) — Sinovac’s CoronaVac, a Chinese vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), can now be used for pediatric vaccination after getting an approval from Philippine authorities.

“We thank the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and our vaccine experts for approving Sinovac’s CoronaVac for ages 6 and above,” IP Biotech Group chairman Enrique Gonzales said.

IP Biotech Group is a pharmaceutical consortium that facilitated the initial arrival of Sinovac procured by the private sector.

In IP Biotech’s statement, it said that FDA released on Saturday the approved emergency use authorization (EUA) for Sinovac, allowing the Chinese vaccine to be used for the vaccination of minors. The eight-page document was signed by FDA officer-in-charge director general Dr. Oscar Gutierrez Jr.

“Making this vaccine available to the younger age segment is a game changer protecting the country’s youth and preserving recent gains in controlling the pandemic. This will also ensure greater access and vaccine equity for the Philippines,” Gonzales added.

Citing the study in Chile, Sinovac’s efficacy among 1.9 million children aged 6 to 17 years old is at 74 percent.

It also prevented hospitalization of 90 percent of children that got vaccinated by Sinovac but still had breakthrough infection, and 100 percent of them avoided intensive care unit hospitalization and death.

“The data will show that Sinovac is indeed a very safe choice for children and teenagers. This supports the notion on the safety and reliability of inactivated virus vaccines, much like the flu vaccine,” Gonzales said.

Neighboring countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and China are using Sinovac for pediatric vaccination.

He added that adding Sinovac as part of the pediatric vaccination program will help the country to achieve its goal of inoculating 39 million children.

The government has been using vaccine brands Pfizer and Moderna for pediatric vaccination. (MNS)

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