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UAE: Covid vaccination for kids aged 3-15 not mandatory; full list of centres released

Saman Haziq /Dubai
saman@khaleejtimes.com Filed on August 10, 2021
Photo: Abu Dhabi Media Office/Twitter

The clarification was announced by Mohap on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) has clarified that Covid vaccination for the age group from 3-15 years is optional, not mandatory.

The ministry on Tuesday further noted that the vaccine approved for children aged three to 11 years is Sinopharm, while children aged 12 to 15 years can take either Sinopharm or Pfizer-BioNTech.

The ministry had recently announced the approval of the emergency registration of Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine for children after conducting extensive clinical trials and evaluations.

MoHAP has also identified the health centres that will provide the Covid-19 vaccine for children in the 3-17 age group.

The two vaccines are available in 46 health centres covering the Northern Emirates, including 19 in Sharjah, 10 in Fujairah, nine in Ras Al Khaimah, four in Ajman, three in Umm Al Quwain, and one centre in Dubai.

While vaccine manufacturing countries such as China, the USA, and Britain have begun conducting a study on the efficacy of the vaccine for this age group, the UAE is the first Middle Eastern country to conduct such a study.

Vaccine safe for kids

Emphasising that the recently approved Sinopharm Covid vaccine is safe for children, Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector, said: "The ministry's approval for the use of the Sinopharm vaccine for children between three and 17 years came after it was proven to be safe, based on the results of the clinical trials, the implementation of all medical protocols in place and according to the highest international standards and practices."

He said that the Sinopharm vaccine is based on a traditional vaccine-making method that has been used for many years now and children from across the globe have been taking such vaccines safely against several diseases and viral infections.

Al Rand, who is also the Chairman of the National Committee for the Implementation of the Provisions of International Health Regulations and Prevention of Pandemics, made it clear that the decision, which was thoroughly examined, represents a significant step forward on the way to the recovery from the pandemic and immunisation of the wider community.

He urged families and parents to visit the vaccination centres along with their kids to get vaccinated.

“Vaccination of children will protect them and maintain the health of those around them, especially the elderly. It also contributes to achieving the herd immunity necessary to limit the spread of the virus,” he said.

The policy directive is in line with the recovery plan pursued by the UAE, which aims to get 100 per cent of the eligible target groups vaccinated by the end of 2021, he added.

"The UAE has topped the global indicators for Covid-19 response, thanks to the guidance and support of the wise leadership. The health authorities are also continuing their extraordinary efforts in the national vaccination campaign, the early detection of cases and rapid intervention to prevent complications. The country also has one of the world's widest and fastest vaccination campaigns in the world, something that reflects the resounding success of the UAE in containing the crisis," Al Rand added.

The Covid-19 vaccine has proven to be effective in reducing infection rates, as well as reducing admissions to hospitals and ICU and mortality rates. The vaccine is, therefore, important to protect society from complications of the infection, he added.

saman@khalejtimes.com

Saman Haziq





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