MoH yet to decide on vaccines for 6 months to 4 years

The Ministry of Health (MoH) continues to monitor and keep itself updated on the findings of the Pediatric COVID-19 vaccines that are being rolled out in a few countries around the globe for children from 6 months to 4 years of age.

An official from MoH said although the ministry has plans to vaccinate 6 months to 4 years old children, however, there are not many findings available on the pediatric vaccines to take a decision. Meanwhile, MoH is in discussion with the Pfizer company and corresponding with them on the vaccine development.

Many parents continue to have a high level of concerns about their unvaccinated children, especially with the new and more transmissible Omicron sub-variants on rise globally.  Moreover, people have become careless and are not heeding COVID-19 safety protocols.

The official said the ministry is aware of the parents’ concerns over the unvaccinated child, but there have been not many updates on pediatric COVID-19 vaccines and the other reasons are that the COVID-19 cases are not rampant like in the past.

The official said more than 90 percent of the country’s population are fully vaccinated, some with even fourth dose. So, therefore, children are somehow protected, the official added.

The National Immunization Technical Advisory Team has not yet recommended vaccines for children under 5 years old, said the official.

The ministry will also consider whether small kids must have vaccines or not, said the official. “As of now, there is no such concrete plan but we are observing globally.”

The US Centre for Disease and Control (CDC) recommends that all children 6 months through 5 years of age should receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Children in this younger age group can be vaccinated with whichever vaccine is available (Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech). The US Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization on 17 June 2022 for both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for young children.

Vaccine advisers to the CDC voted unanimously on 18 June to support recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children as young as 6 months and vaccine administration began after that in USA.

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