Singapore plans to vaccinate children below 12 from Jan : The Tribune India

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Singapore plans to vaccinate children below 12 from Jan

Singapore plans to vaccinate children below 12 from Jan

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Singapore, November 20

Singapore hopes to extend the COVID-19 national vaccination programme to children below the age of 12 in January next year, the health ministry said on Saturday.

Director of medical services at the Ministry of Health's (MOH) Kenneth Mak, speaking at a multi-ministry task force press conference here, said that children below the age of 12 made up about 11.2 per cent of all COVID-19 cases.

Four weeks ago, it was 6.7 per cent, he said, noting that Singapore is seeing a rising “slow trend” for cases in this age group.

The proportion of cases of those between 12 and 20 years has not changed “in the same way”, Mak said, adding that it “continues to hover” between 4 and 5 per cent.

“These children remain vulnerable because they are not yet eligible for vaccination to protect them from infection. And it's generally harder to get them to comply with disciplined mask-wearing and safe separation and measures,” Channel News Asia quoted Mak as saying.

Many of these children have “mild infections”, but Singapore has seen a “small number” of children who need paediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for more severe infections or complications from the infection.

There were also a few cases of multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) reported to the MOH, he said.

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) will work with Pfizer on the necessary regulatory approvals, he said.

“We remain hopeful that we may be able to launch the extended national vaccination programme following these approvals for children less than 12 years of age, hopefully sometime in January 2022,” he said.

Separately, the MOH said that eligible individuals will be able to receive their COVID-19 booster jabs five months after completing their second dose, instead of six months. PTI

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