The first batch of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 in Qatar is scheduled to arrive in the coming months, a senior official told Al Rayyan TV. "Studies show this age group constitutes 63% of Covid-19 infections, especially among those unvaccinated," explained Dr Mohamed Janahi, division chief, Infectious Diseases and chair of the Sepsis programme at Sidra Medicine and member of the national vaccination committee and the advisory committee on Covid-19 vaccination in Qatar.
The vaccine dose for children aged 5-11 is only 10 micrograms compared to 30 microgrammes for adults. The two doses will have a three-week interval between them.
Dr Janahi urged families to vaccinate children in the 5-11 age group when the campaign begins. He pointed out that the vaccine is safe and effective as 1,440 children, aged 5-11, were followed up over a period of two months and only minor side effects were reported.
The US launched a vaccination campaign for children last week as part of efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Studies conducted in the US, Poland, Finland and Spain covered 4,600 children aged 5-11 and the vaccine efficacy was found to be 91%, he said.
“During the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the adults were mostly affected, but after their vaccination, the number of infections among children began to rise and reached ten times compared to adults," the official added.