The World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) has confirmed that the brand of COVID-19 vaccine Pfizer/BionTech can work for children aged 12 years and above.
“The Pfizer/BionTech vaccine is suitable for use by people aged 12 years and above,” The Statement on the World Health Organization (WHO) reads.
“Children aged between 12 and 15 who are at high risk may be offered this vaccine alongside other priority groups for vaccination. Vaccine trials for children are ongoing and WHO will update its recommendations when the evidence or epidemiological situation warrants a change in policy.”
According to WHO, most children who contract COVID-19 only develop mild symptoms or no symptoms at all and they are not at risk of becoming seriously ill, but they can still spread the virus.
WHO says that there have been outbreaks traced to sporting events and other activities for children aged between 12 and 15, the condition that leads to spreading of the pandemic.
So far, in Europe, vaccines from BioNTech and Moderna have been approved by the European Union (EU) for children and adolescents aged 12 to 17 years.
According to Moderna, the vaccine has shown 100% efficacy in a clinical trial with participants in that age group.
So far, the United Kingdom has reportedly accepted the vaccination of children aged 12, and have started the vaccination.
In Canada and the United States of America, BioNTech-Pfizer’s vaccine has been also used in adolescents since May 2021.
The available figures indicate that in the United States of America alone, over 4.4 million children aged 12 to 15 years old have already been fully vaccinated, while 3.8 million have received the first dose.
Other countries that approved the vaccines for children are Japan and Israel.
In Rwanda, Covid-19 vaccination started in May 2021, with only adults aged 18 and above receiving their jabs to stop risks.
Sabin Nsanzimana, Director General of Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) told the media last week that the country is acting quickly to prevent any potential crisis by vaccinating adults and people at high risk.
“Over 60% of COVID-19 victims are those beyond 60 years old. They are a category we have to particularly take care of so that if a severer variant breaks out, we are ready,” Nsabimana told the media.
Figures of Rwanda’s Ministry of Health indicate that in total, 889,995 people were vaccinated as of August 15.