The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday gave the green light to allow children aged 5 to 11 to receive Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine so as to build body immunity against COVID-19.
The Comirnaty vaccine is the first COVID-19 vaccine that has been approved by the administration for young children, said FDA secretary-general Paisarn Dunkum.
Previously, the FDA only permitted the vaccine to be used on those aged 12 and over. For children aged 5 to 11, the dose in the vaccine will be reduced to 10 microgrammes, Dr Dunkum said.
Apart from the Comirnaty vaccine, FDA deputy secretary-general Dr Surachoke Tangwiwat on Saturday said that the FDA has considered offering inactivated vaccines produced by China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm to children.
Safety data and information has been obtained from studies in Indonesia, South America and the Middle East, he said.
The studies have looked into immune responses and appropriate vaccine doses best suited for children in various age groups: 3-5, 5-12 and 12-18 years old, Dr Tangwiwat said.
Meanwhile, the permanent secretary of the Public Health Ministry, Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, said vaccination in Thailand has reached the targeted 100 million doses which was an attempt to reduce the severity of infections and lower death rates.
As of Sunday, Covid-19 vaccines had been administered to 50.57 million people as a first jab, 44.39 million for a second jab, 5.02 million for a third jab and 66,722 for a fourth.
Public Health agencies, however, will keep searching for unvaccinated people, especially those in high-risk groups — people aged 60 years or older and those suffering from underlying illnesses and pregnant women.
The agencies will also work with local administrative organisations to ramp up a proactive approach in administering vaccines to hill-tribe communities and bedridden people, as well as both legal and illegal migrant workers.
The ministry is continuing to advise people to strictly comply with COVID-free settings and universal prevention measures, Dr Wongrajit said.
As the pandemic situation steadily improves, the ministry will propose that the government consider easing measures so as to help people resume their normal life as much as possible, he said, adding this will help with economic recovery.