Children below 16 years will not be covered by the government’s vaccination program for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said.
“The vaccines currently cleared by WHO for EUA (emergency utilization authority) listing and their trials did not involve children because of the lower risk of diseases in children and the critical importance of ensuring of trying it on adults before trying it on children,” he said.
“What we have now is a clearance for the use of vaccine on people above 16. (WHO) will be studying if the vaccine will be effective on children and the process is still on-going,” Abeyasinghe added.
He said WHO is currently studying the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines on children. “It will take some time but if there is evidence, we will confidently say that the vaccines are safe for children too,” Abeyasinghe said.
This view was seconded by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, saying that Covid-19 vaccines presently available in the market, can only be administered to people aged 16 year old and older based on the information from manufacturers.
The government is set to start its Covid-19 vaccination drive this February and will target priority groups like medical workers, frontliners and senior citizens. SOVEREIGNPH