The Ministry of Health has said that soon, kids would be able to take the COVID-19 vaccines.
And finally, kids who think they can avoid the jabs finally have to face their greatest fear: it’s finally approved.
Kids all over Singapore now:
Everything About the Approval of COVID-19 Vaccines for Children 5 to 11 in S’pore
Last night (10 December 2021), the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination (EC19V) said that they’ve reviewed the clinical data submitted to HAS about the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty paediatric dose vaccine ,and studied the information available globally pertaining to COVID-19 vaccines for use in children.
And they recommended that we proceed to vaccinate 5–11 year-old children in Singapore using the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty paediatric dose vaccine when this becomes available.
The results of the Phase 3 clinical trial of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty paediatric dose vaccine (at 10 micrograms, one-third the adult dosage) in children aged 5-11 years, submitted recently to US authorities and HSA, have shown around a 90% reduction in the risk of symptomatic infection.
As cases of COVID-19 infection in the clinical trial occurred from July to August 2021, when the Delta variant was already predominant in the US, these results reflect the vaccine’s efficacy against the Delta variant.
In other words, we still don’t know if it’ll work on the new player in the block, Omicron.
You can know more about Omicron here, and why it could be good news after all:
Common side effects in children who received the vaccine were generally mild to moderate, and children in this age group had fewer systemic side effects compared to persons 16-25 years of age.
While there were no cases of anaphylaxis seen in the study, the risk of anaphylaxis or allergy can be expected to be comparable to that observed in adolescents and young adults.
There has been no cases of myocarditis/pericarditis were observed in the trial among the children aged 5-11 years, though MOH highlights that we cannot dismiss the rare risk of myocarditis and/or pericarditis.
Therefore, with the results, the recommended dosage for children aged 5-11 years is two paediatric doses (10 micrograms each) of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine, timed at least 21 days apart. This dosage is one third of that used in persons aged 12 years and above, but the interval between the two doses is similar.
Children with moderate to severe chronic medical conditions should be prioritised for access to the vaccine, as they are at higher risk of developing severe disease.
Extension of Booster Vaccination to All Persons Aged 18 Years and Older
Previously, only people above 30 are offered the booster shots in Singapore.
However, MOH said that there have been evidence to show that there is waning protection against infection over time, and for younger people, it is at a slower pace.
This is why from now on, everyone above 18 would be offered the booster shots.
In addition, based on emerging international data regarding the Omicron variant, existing vaccines will still confer protection against the Omicron variant, even though effectiveness will be reduced compared to that against the wildtype SARS-CoV-2.
Preliminary results from studies show that a booster vaccination improves the efficacy of neutralising antibodies against the Omicron variant of concern.
Similar to booster shots for people above 30, this should be taken 5 months after the completion of their primary series.
Priority should be given to individuals in this age group who are at higher risk for severe disease, such as those with medical conditions, or are pregnant, as well as those at higher risk of acquiring infection, including persons travelling to other countries.
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Featured Image: Mahsun YILDIZ / Shutterstock.com
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