Dubai opens Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine appointments for children between 12 and 15

Parents can book slots using the DHA app

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Dubai Health Authority has opened appointments for youngsters aged 12 to 15 for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Parents can book using the DHA app.

Dr Farida Al Khaja, chief executive of DHA’s Clinical Support Services and Nursing Sector and chairperson of the Covid-19 Vaccination Steering Committee, said children should “continue to observe precautionary measures even after receiving both doses of the vaccine”.

Children with chronic conditions will have priority, as will those who live with elderly people or individuals whose health conditions prevent them from being vaccinated.

Dr Al Khaja confirmed that children between 12 and 15 who have tested positive for Covid-19 with mild or no symptoms can receive the vaccine after they complete the 10-day post-recovery isolation period.

For moderate or severe cases, parents must consult their doctor before booking an appointment.

DHA facilities that provide the vaccine to children include Latifa Women and Children Hospital, Hatta Hospital and Al Barsha, Al Mizhar and Zabeel primary healthcare centres.

The vaccine is also available at Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital.

The UAE approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children aged between 12 and 15 on an emergency basis on May 13.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention said approval was given after the country carried out successful clinical trials and assessments.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was recently cleared for use in adolescents between 12 and 15 in the US after a trial showed it was safe and 100 per cent effective.

In late March, the company embarked on a global study to test its vaccine on children aged six months to two years, two years to five years and five years to 11 years.

The findings from phase one will help to decide the dosage level for later stages.

In phases 2 and 3, the company will study the immune response in children, the tolerance level in each age group and possible side effects.

Data on the age group 5 to 11 is expected this summer, the company said.

If trials go well, young children could be vaccinated by the end of the year, BioNTech co-founder and chief medical officer Dr Ozlem Tureci said.

“We expect the data at the end of the summer or autumn of this year. We will then file it with the regulators and, depending on how fast they react, by the end of the year we might get approval to also immunise younger children,” she said.