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MoH approves half dose of Pfizer vaccine for children
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 22 - 12 - 2021

RIYADH- Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Abdullah Asiri announced on Wednesday that the Saudi health authorities have approved the Pfizer vaccine for children in the age group of five and 11 years. "The dose for children will be half of the adult dose, and that will be administered in two phases," he said.
Dr. Asiri noted that among the children, who are infected with COVID-19, the symptoms are mild in most cases while only a small group of them get severe illness and hospitalization. There are no symptoms reported among those children who have received the vaccine shot, he said.
Dr. Asiri underlined the need to take the vaccine by a large number of children as they are a source of infection for people in the older age groups. "Administering doses of vaccine will continue until achieving the goals of immunization, which include prevention of severe diseases; stemming the spread of the pandemic; bringing down cases of hospitalization as well as controlling epidemic outbreaks that are a source to mutated variants," he said.
The ministry official pointed out that there could be a need to take vaccine by certain groups of people over the coming years while vaccines will continue to be provided to low-income countries. "Coronavirus will continue to be with us like influenza, but the virulence would decrease gradually," he said.
With regard to the booster dose, Dr. Asiri said: "The booster dose of the vaccine will provide with lasting protection, and the need for the booster dose increased following the spread of the mutated Omicron variant and the continued presence of a large group of non-vaccinated people among us," he said. There are chances for those who have completed the doses of vaccination to infect with common cold as it happened every year before the outbreak of the pandemic. "Here the fear is in the case of those people who did neither take nor complete the vaccination against coronavirus," he said.
According to Dr. Asiri, the booster dose was initially for certain groups of people in the Saudi society. "Now it has become a necessity and mandatory for all, due to the decrease in immunity after administering the second dose of the vaccine," he added.

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