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Singapore approves Covid vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 as cases surge


A health worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Senja-Cashew Community Centre Vaccination Centre in Singapore on March 8, 2021.

Wei Leng Tay | Bloomberg | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Singapore has approved the use of the PfizerBioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15, authorities announced on Wednesday.

Previously, only people 16 and above were allowed to receive the shot. The vaccine developed by Moderna is only given to individuals who are 18 years and above.

Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA) authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children between 12 and 15 under the Pandemic Special Access Route for emergency therapeutic products.

The country’s expert committee on Covid vaccines assessed the safety, efficacy and tolerability of the vaccine before endorsing the interim authorization by HSA.

“The data showed that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated high efficacy consistent with that observed in the adult population,” the ministry of health said in a press release.

“Its safety profile is also consistent with the known safety profile in the adult population and the standards set for other registered vaccines used in the immunization against other diseases,” it added.

Singapore also announced that individuals between the ages of 40 to 44 would be invited to register for their vaccinations from Wednesday this week.

The immunization program will continue to be rolled out in five-year age bands, progressively moving to younger groups, the press release said.

“Our supply of vaccines has been steadily coming in, but remains limited given high global demand,” it said.

Still, the health ministry said it’s on track to complete the vaccination program by the end of the year “if our supplies arrive as scheduled.”

As of May 17, Singapore has administered more than 3.4 million doses of the vaccine. At least 1.4 million individuals have received their second dose.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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