The National Communicable Disease Committee (NCDC) has endorsed the administering of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11, provided that parental consent is given. The committee also endorsed the issuance of the fourth vaccine doses for healthcare personnel, frontline workers and immune-compromised people.
Department of Disease Control (DDC) Director-General Opas Karnkawinpong said a meeting of the NCDC endorsed the proposal to vaccinate children aged 5-11. He also said the Pfizer vaccine is currently the only Covid vaccine permitted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in young children. Pfizer will be asked to deliver 10 million additional doses as soon as possible.
According to the director-general, the administering of the vaccine in the 5-11 age group will require the use of a system earlier adopted to vaccinate youths aged 12-18, under which schools were used as vaccination sites. The Ministry of Education said there are about 5.04 million children in this age group.
The committee has also endorsed providing a fourth COVID vaccine dose to healthcare personnel, frontline workers, immunocompromised individuals, and patients of chronic diseases. Dr. Opas said any administering of this booster will be on a voluntary basis. Healthcare personnel can also opt to have their fourth dose delivered into the skin rather than the muscle, or receive only half the usual dosage.