By Jennylou Canon

PHOTO: Yahoo News Canada

Minors aged 12 to 15 years old may now be vaccinated with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine as the Food and Drug Administration amended its emergency use authorization (EUA).

"After careful consideration of the application, with all its supporting documents, and a review of local experts, the FDA has been satisfied that all the conditions for the issuance of an EUA exist," the amended EUA reads. 

FDA Director General Eric Domingo added that experts gave "very favorable" recommendations, and allowed Pfizer to be used for children as young as 12 years old.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire noted the expansion of vaccine recipients, saying that vulnerable individuals in the age group 12 to 15 years old will be prioritized due to limited vaccine supply.

“While we welcome more vaccines that are approved for children and adolescents, due to limited vaccine supply, our vaccination strategy remains the same — prioritize the vulnerable and adhere to our prioritization framework,” Vergeire said.

The undersecretary added that once vaccine supply stabilizes, the general population of children and adolescents will be vaccinated.

Pfizer showed 100% efficacy on fighting COVID-19 in children aged 12 to 15 years old in March.

Aside from Pfizer, Moderna will also be applying for authorization in late 2021 for their child-friendly COVID-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said that vaccination on children and adolescents may begin in the fourth quarter of 2021.

“Nakikita po namin baka fourth quarter po [magsimula] kasi doon po dadagsa, may makukuha po tayo na mga Pfizer, Sinovac, at ‘yung Moderna," Galvez said.

Galvez also added that the country is expecting 40 million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 jab to arrive this year.

Currently, the country's vaccine supply reached over 9 million doses, and is expected to increase as more vaccines are set to arrive this month.

6,096,208 individuals have been vaccinated against COVID-19. 4,491,948 individuals have received their first dose, and 1,604,260 have received their second dose and are fully vaccinated.

Report sources: GMA News, ABS-CBN News