The Ministry of Health is exploring the vaccination for children 5-11 years. The Pfizer vaccine (Pediatric dose) has been recently approved for the use in children 5-11 years by the USA, Food and Drug Administration and as of now, only two countries (USA and Israel) have rolled out the vaccination for the children of the aforementioned age bracket.
However, the Pfizer pediatric vaccine is still awaiting Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the WHO.
There are a total estimated 83,227 children requiring the Pfizer paediatric vaccines. Currently, there are 211,290 doses of mRNA vaccines in the country. The MoH is planning to provide COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to priority groups including people residing in the high-risk areas.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 5 through 11 years has the same active ingredients as the vaccine given to adults and adolescents.
However, children ages 5 through 11 years cannot get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine given to adults and adolescents. In addition, children ages 5 through 11 years should receive an age-appropriate dose that is one-third of the adult dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Smaller needles, designed specifically for children, are also used for children ages 5 through 11 years.
COVID-19 cases in children can result in hospitalizations, deaths and long-term complications, such as “long COVID,” in which symptoms can linger for months. The spread of the Delta variant resulted in a surge of COVID-19 cases in children.