South Korea approves Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5-11

pharmafile | February 24, 2022 | News story | Business Services  

South Korea’s drug safety agency on authorised the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on 23 February, for children aged between five and 11 years old, amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. The vaccine, known as Cominarty, contains the same substances as the adult version of the vaccine, but in smaller doses.

This approval marks the first time the agency has authorised the use of a COVID-19 vaccine for children within this age bracket.

Children aged five to 11 will receive two doses of the vaccine, with a three-week interval. Among this number, the immunocompromised can get a booster dose, four weeks after their second jab. The health authorities have shared that detailed schedule for the vaccination of children in this age bracket will be released in March.

Choi Eun-hwa, a medical professor at Seoul National University, has shared that the immunocompromised and clinically vulnerable, such as children with chronic lung conditions or heart diseases, should be prioritised for vaccination.

The ministry has shared that the authorisation aims to minimise infections and hospitalisations of children amid the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant of the virus, and has cited data outlining efficacy and safety of the vaccine. This data found the vaccine was 90.7 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in children aged five to 11. Most common side effects included pain and redness at the injection site, fatigue, headaches and chills. Children showed a higher tendency of swelling than young adults. However, adverse effects disappeared within three days.

Comirnaty has now been authorised for children by 62 authorities around the world, including in the US, and in the EU.

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