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Indonesian kids aged 6 to 11 to get Covid jab

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A student gets a dose of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine at a school in Lhokseumawe, Indonesia’s Aceh province, in October. AFP

Indonesian kids aged 6 to 11 to get Covid jab

Indonesia is set to start Covid-19 vaccinations for children aged six to 11 from December 24.

“Starting December 24, we will prioritise vaccines for children. We have allocated around 58 million to 60 million doses,” Deputy Minister of Health Dante Saksono Harbuwono told media outlet Tempo on December 10.

The policy for child vaccinations was outlined in an instruction sent by the Minister of Home Affairs with regard to Covid-19 prevention and handling during the Christmas and New Year period.

“Local governments can start vaccinating children aged six to 11 years if they have reached 70 per cent of the vaccination target of at least the first dose and 60 per cent of the first-dose vaccination for the elderly in accordance with applicable regulations,” the instruction issued by home minister Tito Karnavian on December 9 said.

The Indonesian National Agency of Drug and Food Control had given emergency use authorisation for the use of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine for children aged above five on November 2. It had earlier permitted the use of the vaccine for 12- to 17-year-olds, with the objective of resuming in-person classes at schools.

The agency is also conducting trials to evaluate China’s Sinopharm vaccine for children under 12.

It will contemplate approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine once it has been registered with the agency, following emergency use authorisation on October 29 by the US Food and Drug Administration for the vaccine to be used on children.

Here are some countries and regions besides Singapore that have approved vaccine doses for children and teenagers.

Asia

India has approved local drugmaker Cadila’s jab for emergency use in children over 12, but this has not been rolled out yet. An expert committee has also approved the indigenously manufactured Covaxin jab for use in children aged two to 18.

South Korea, Australia and the Philippines are vaccinating children aged 12 and above, with Australia planning to inoculate younger children aged five to 11 starting next month.

Brunei will expand its Covid-19 vaccination programme to children aged five to 11 early next year.

Vietnam began vaccinating teenagers aged 16 and 17, it was reported in late October.

Hong Kong lowered the age limit for the Sinovac jab to three in late November.

China has approved two Sinopharm vaccines and one Sinovac vaccine for children as young as three.

Europe

In the EU, the roll-out of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine for five- to 11-year-olds should begin tomorrow, one week earlier than planned.

Germany will likely offer shots to children under 12 from early next year, DW reported. Approval was given for teenagers in August.

Italy on December 1 approved shots for children aged five to 11, while France gave approval for high-risk children and those living with vulnerable people. Eighty per cent of French children over 12 years old are vaccinated.

The Czech Republic has pre-ordered shots for 700,000 children aged five to 11, reported Czech Radio, while Hungary began vaccinating older children in May and has opened registration for five- to 11-year-olds.

Estonia, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Spain, Sweden and Finland are offering shots to children aged 12 and up.

In the Netherlands, about 63 per cent of 12- to 17-year-olds are fully vaccinated, according to government data dated November 28.

Britain’s vaccine committee recommends a second dose for 12- to 15-year-olds. It was previously open only to vulnerable people in the age group.

Americas

The US on November 2 recommended vaccination for children aged five to 11, and as at mid-November, nearly 10 per cent of those eligible received their first dose.

Canada approved Pfizer’s shot for children aged five to 11 on Nov 19, days after Mexico said it would start vaccinating 15- to 17-year-olds.

THE STRAITS TIMES (SINGAPORE)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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