Covid-19 vaccination for children aged six months to four years from Oct 25

Young children aged six months to four years will be able to receive their primary Covid-19 vaccination with the Moderna Spikevax vaccine from Oct 25. Children aged five to 11 will also be able to receive a booster dose with the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine from Oct 25, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Friday (Oct 7).

The health ministry said that it has accepted the recommendation of the Expert Committee on Covid-19 Vaccination (EC19V) that children aged six months and above be vaccinated against the virus. This will ensure that children here attain a minimum level of protection against Covid-19.

The recommended dosage of the Moderna vaccine for those aged six months to five years is two doses of 25 micrograms each, spaced eight weeks apart.

MOH also accepted the EC19V's recommendation for children aged five to 11 years to receive a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine, the only Covid-19 vaccine recommended for this age group.

Local and international data showed that antibody levels and vaccine protection against Covid-19 hospitalisation decline with time in children aged five to 11 years, just as it does with adolescents and adults. The Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty booster will help sustain protection against severe disease, MOH said. Side effects are generally mild, similar to those from the first two doses.

Singapore is awaiting the delivery of the Pfizer vaccine and it should be available here by the end of the year.

While clinical data showed that the risk of severe Covid-19 in young children is generally very low, there is still a higher risk of hospitalisation compared with older children and severe disease can occur, MOH said in its statement.

From Oct 18, parents or guardians may register their interest for their child or ward to receive the Moderna/Spikevax vaccination.

MOH also gave an update on the local Covid-19 situation.

As of Oct 6, average daily infections in the community over a 7-day period rose from around 2,600 a week ago to 4,400. Hospitalised cases have also increased from 247 from a week ago to 342, and the number of cases in the Intensive Care Unit has increased from 9 to 13 within the same period.

This is likely due to increased social activities, safe management measures being stepped down, and also the BA.2.75 and BA.2.10 Omicron subvariants, which have been detected around the world, circulating in Singapore.

The increase in daily cases is not unexpected as Singapore opens up, said MOH. THE STRAITS TIMES



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