COVID-19 vaccine rollout for children aged 5-11 delayed


The administration of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to children aged five to 11 years old has been delayed because the Ministry of Health has not been able to secure the lower vaccine dosage needed.

This is according to a statement released on Thursday night on the ministry’s Facebook page. It was previously communicated that the roll out of these vaccines to the younger children would commence on Friday.

But the Ministry of Health stated that it has been unable to procure the new formulation of the Pfizer- BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine needed specifically for this younger age group.

As previously stated, these children will be receiving a smaller dosage of the vaccine than what has been administered to the children aged 12 to 18 years old and adults. The first and second doses of the vaccines are given three weeks apart.

Specifically, children aged five to 11 years old require two Pfizer doses that measure about 10 micrograms. Comparatively, the older children (those aged 12 to 18) and adults receive doses that measures about 30 micrograms.

According to reports, these doses have to be mixed with certain amounts of saline before they are administered to both the children and adults. Once mixed, 0.2 milliliter (mL) dose is administered.

To ensure that the required dosage for children aged five to 11 (10 micrograms) is not mixed up with the dosage administered to adults, the Pfizer company has introduced a different vaccine packaging- that is, there is a unique label and different cap color.

And, the Ministry of Health said that it will continue its efforts to procure the new formulation of the vaccine for the younger children. The public will be informed when the vaccine becomes available.

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