Children between the ages of five and 11 will be able to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom's Food and Drug Authority announced on Wednesday.
The decision “was based on the data provided by the company”, the authority said, including studies on the effectiveness of the vaccine in the age group.
The kingdom approved the Pfizer vaccine for use in adults in December 2020 and has approved three other Covid-19 vaccines since the start of the pandemic in March of that year: Oxford-AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
Last week, the planned return of under-12s to school was delayed until further notice.
“The in-person classes for students of elementary schools and kindergartens, scheduled to begin on October 31, have been postponed until the completion of scientific studies related to the epidemiological risks of this category so as to ensure their safety as well as the safety of their families”, an education ministry spokesman said at the time.
After a decrease in cases, authorities relaxed measures to contain the spread of the virus, which has killed almost 8,800 people. Double vaccinated people no longer have to wear a mask or adhere to social distancing protocols.
Saudi Arabia has registered 548,760 Covid-19 cases, including 45 on Tuesday.