The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday said the Philippines might begin inoculating children below 12 years old with Covid-19 vaccines before 2022.

In a Palace briefing, FDA chief Eric Domingo said vaccine manufacturers had told local regulators that they would soon submit necessary vaccine data on pediatric vaccination.

“I would think before the end of the year. I am pretty sure Pfizer is to be ready and the Sinovac also told us that their data is being collated and will be submitted soon. So, I believe before the end of the year, we are going to have vaccines for children below 12,” Domingo said.

The country’s pediatric vaccination program is currently limited to minors aged 12 to 17.

Domingo said about 500,000 minors had been vaccinated as of last week.

Less than one percent experienced adverse side effects, the FDA chief added.

“The adverse event monitoring is very, very low – less than one percent and mga mild lang naman. I think the most severe was allergies and mayroong isang bata na nag-hyperventilate. So, so far, so good and we are still continuing with that,” Domingo said.

The Philippines has 18,721 active Covid-19 cases as of Nov. 23. John Ezekiel J. Hirro