Kids aged 12 to 17 get the jab

08 December 2021 | Health

STAFF REPORTER

WINDHOEK

The ministry of health and social services has started administering the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to children aged 12 to 17 years to reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalisation and deaths due to Covid-19.

A media statement issued on Monday by the executive director in the ministry, Ben Nangombe, said the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts has recommended that the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is suitable for use by persons aged 12 years and above.

The same vaccine has been granted emergency use authorisation by the United States of America Food and Drug Administration for use in children and adolescents aged five to 15 years and full approval for use in people aged 16 years and older.

Nangombe said Namibia thus decided to expand vaccination eligibility to children and adolescents aged 12 to 17 years because vaccination reduces the risk of severe illness, hospitalisation and deaths from Covid-19.

“This public notice serves to inform the public that the ministry of health and social services has commenced with the administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to children aged 12 to 17 years.

Parental consent

“The vaccine is administered in two doses. Each dose is 0.3 millilitres. The second dose is given 21 days after the first dose. The vaccine is available and is being offered at all vaccination sites across the country,” said Nangombe.

He added that consent for vaccination of children aged 12 to 13 years must be obtained from parents or guardians who opt to have their children vaccinated, while adolescents aged 14 to 17 years can give consent for themselves.

“Children and adolescents falling in the aforementioned age groups, and their families, are thus encouraged to visit vaccination sites across the country to get vaccinated.”

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