pAKISTAN vaccine covid moderna
A health worker prepares a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in this file photo. Image Credit: AP

Manila: The Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given an emergency-use authorisation (EUA) to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine on adolescents aged 12 to 17, the agency’s chief said on Friday.

FDA chief Eric Domingo said the green light was given two weeks after the US pharma company applied for amendment of its previous EUA. Following consultation with an expert panel, the agency approved the use of mRNA-1273 jabs on Filipino adolescents.

Domingo acknowledged the rare cases of myocarditis — or the inflammation of the heart muscle — resulting from mRNA shots, but added the risk has to be weighed against the highly contagious Delta variant which has become dominant in the Philippines.

“With the Delta variant affecting a lot of children, the experts saw that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks,” he said during a virtual briefing.

On Friday, the Asian country recorded its second highest new cases, with 20,310 infections reported within 24 hours on Friday, according to the Department of Health (DOH). The department counted 2,040,568 cases in the country in total, with 7.8% or 158,994 active cases or currently sick patients.

At least 96.5% of active cases have mild symptoms, 1.1% are asymptomatic, 1% have severe symptoms, 0.92% are in moderate condition and 0.5% are in critical condition.

The COVID-19 death toll climbed to 33,873 — which is 1.66% of the COVID-19 total — after 193 more people died while 7,710 others recovered, bringing the survivor count to 1,847,701 or 90.5% of the case tally.