Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid: UAE docs urge parents to get kids of 12-15 group vaccinated

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi Filed on May 14, 2021
AFP file

Medical experts hail Mohap's decision to approve Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination for those in the 12-15 age group

Medical experts have urged parents to get their children vaccinated after the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) approved the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those in the 12 to 15 age group in the UAE.

Additionally, the US’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also endorsed the use of the vaccine in the same age group.

So far, kids below the age of 16 years were not allowed to take the jab in the UAE.

Dr Abdul Majeed, paediatrics and neonatology (specialist), Aster Hospitals, Mankhool, noted the development is a relief for parents.

“The approval for Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine, from the ministry and the CDC, comes as a relief to parents. Now, they will be able to secure their children against the deadly virus. With the newer versions of the virus detected in different parts of the world, this is a timely approval.”

Dr Faisal Dalvi, specialist internal medicine, Burjeel Hospital, noted that children were increasingly becoming victims to the newer strains of the virus.

“I think it is an excellent move by the UAE authorities to approve the Pfizer vaccine for kids aged 12 to 15 years old. We have found that the new Covid mutants from the UK, South Africa and India are causing a lot of ICU admissions and fatalities among this age group in different parts of the world.”

Earlier in March, Pfizer-BioNTech announced that the vaccine demonstrated “100 per cent efficacy and robust antibody responses” in a phase 3 clinical trial in participants aged between 12 and 15 years old.

Dr Dalvi pointed out: “So, if they are given both the doses of the vaccine, they can develop antibodies to Covid-19 and that could reduce the disease severity and hospitalisation can be prevented.”

However, there is still no clarity on how to book appointments to take the jab. The ministry’s app was down for maintenance and other vaccination health centres shut because of Eid holidays. Also, how can children without a mobile number do the registration process through the app is also a worrying factor.

Doctors stressed that the authorities would take stock of the situation and find a solution soon.

Dr Majeed added: “It remains to be seen how appointments can be booked in the name of children as everyone may not have their own registered mobile phone numbers. However, this will soon be fixed, and the ministry and local authorities will find a way.”


Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.

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