By Carlos Manuel Eusoya

PHOTO: Malaysia Journal

As CoViD-19 cases increase in children’s age group, the country’s private sector is planning to import Pfizer vaccines for their employees’ children, presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion stated last Tuesday.

“The government has ordered a lot [of vaccines] for its own use… but the private sector would like to see how we can bring in Pfizer so that eventually we can use this for our children,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN.

To accomplish this goal, private institutions are willing to enter a tripartite agreement with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine manufacturers and the national government.

A tripartite agreement is a transaction done between an owner (Pfizer), a beneficiary (private firms), and a guarantor that can grant indemnification (Philippine government).

“(Vaccine czar) Secretary (Carlito) Galvez said they're planning to inoculate children starting September or October. We’d like to participate if they will allow a tripartite agreement so we can also help the children of our employees,” Concepcion added.

This decision has been influenced by the severe pediatric cases caused by the Delta variant.

Philippine General Hospital (PGH) spokesman Dr. Jonas del Rosario stated last August 7 that many children were admitted with severe CoViD-19 cases, due to the transmissible and contagious nature of the Delta variant.

Thus, Concepcion believes that children must also be included in the vaccine rollout.

“I understand government has a priority sector where they have to prioritize highly vulnerable people but the children right now will have to play into this equation because we don’t want to see our kids going to the hospitals, going to the ICUs (intensive care units) being intubated and all of that,” Concepcion stated.

Two doses of Pfizer vaccines currently have 79% efficacy against asymptomatic CoViD-19 caused by the Delta variant, as well as 96% efficacy against hospitalization caused by the same variant.

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already authorized the use of Pfizer for children aged 12 and above since June, minors are not a current priority for the Pfizer vaccines yet.