KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 12 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) expects to roll out Covid-19 vaccines for children aged below 12 years odl next year, as the government prepares to procure Pfizer-BioNTech shots for paediatric vaccination.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin noted that only Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is currently indicated for paediatric Covid-19 inoculation.
Pfizer is expected to submit data on registration of its shot for under-12 children in Malaysia to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) by year end.
“The Malaysian government is currently in the process of making new procurements for Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine, Cominarty, for immunisation of children aged below 12 years, since the formulation used is different from the formulation for the adult population (subject to approval from NPRA and DCA [Drug Control Authority]),” Khairy told Subang MP Wong Chen in a written Dewan Rakyat reply yesterday.
“It is estimated that 5.9 million children will be vaccinated, involving an estimated quantity of 11.8 million doses.”
The United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorised last October 29 the emergency use of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11 years.
The Pfizer shot was approved in America as a two-dose primary series, three weeks apart, but at a lower dose (10 micrograms) for children, than the 30 micrograms used for those aged 12 years and older.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced last October 18 that it has started evaluating the use of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for children aged five to 11.
According to Malaysia’s CovidNow website, children aged below 12 years old comprised about 17 per cent of Covid-19 cases for the past six months, compared to 7.5 per cent among children aged 12 to 17. The predominant age group which had Covid-19 infections was adults aged 18 to 59.
About 87 per cent of adolescents aged 12 to 17 in Malaysia have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, including 78.5 per cent fully inoculated.