First batch of COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 to arrive in Qatar in January

First batch of COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 to arrive in Qatar in January

By QLNews

As Qatar continues to leave no stone unturned in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the country is scheduled to receive the first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 in January next year.

Speaking to Al Rayyan TV, a senior public health official emphasized the importance of getting children vaccinated when the campaign commences in Qatar.

Chief of Paediatric Infectious Disease and Medical Director of Outpatient Clinics at Sidra Medicine, Dr Mohammad Janahi said, "Studies show this age group constitutes 63 percent of COVID-19 infections, especially among those unvaccinated."

The dosage of the vaccine for children within this age bracket is much lower than that administered to children 12 and above. It is only 10 micrograms for 5-11-year-olds as compared to 30 micrograms for adults.

The interval between the first dose and the second dose for 5-11-year-olds will be three weeks.

Dr Janahi explained that the vaccine is safe and effective as 1,440 children, aged 5-11, were followed up over a period of two months and only minor side effects were reported.

Earlier this month, the United States began its vaccination drive for children of the same age group, as part of its efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The senior health official also drew attention to studies conducted in the US, Poland, Finland and Spain that covered 4,600 children aged 5-11, highlighting that these found the vaccine efficacy to be 91 percent.

“During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the adults were mostly affected, but after their vaccination, the number of infections among children began to rise and reached ten times compared to adults," Dr Janahi said.

Earlier this week, Qatar's Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) announced that the duration between the second dose and the third (booster) dose has been reduced to six months, urging all those eligible to get the booster shot.

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Cover Image Credit: for illustrative purposes only
Source: Gulf Times
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