NIAC recommends Covid vaccines be offered to all children aged 5 to 11
A lower dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine has been advised for children in the specific age bracket.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has accepted new recommendations from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) that all children aged 5-11 years should be offered a Covid-19 vaccine.
As part of the NIAC advice, it is "strongly recommended" that kids in this age bracket that either have an underlying condition, live with a younger child with complex medical needs or live with an immunocompromised adult should receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
The Government has said these three categories will be prioritised for vaccination.
On top of this, NIAC has also recommended that the same vaccine should be offered to all children aged 5-11 years.
However, the vaccine dosage advised for this age group is much lower than for those over 12, with 5 to 11-year-olds to receive a dose of only 10 µg, compared to 30 µg.
Those in the age bracket are recommended a two-dose vaccine schedule, with the doses to be administered three weeks apart.
A COVID-19 vaccine will soon be offered for 5-11 year-olds following recommendations from NIAC.
We're working with @HSELive on planning for this when the first vaccines arrive next week.
Full information for parents will also be made available. https://t.co/YQELsEJZJk pic.twitter.com/h5gLT2hGb6
— Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) December 8, 2021
"Today’s news is another positive step forward in our country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic," Donnelly said.
"As the country continues to experience a high incidence of disease, we have seen a significant increase in confirmed cases of Covid-19 in this age group.
"While we know that most children will experience a very mild form of this disease if they pick it up, for a small few, they may become severely ill.
"Extending the possibility of vaccination to this age group offers another layer of protection to our children, and to those around them."
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has also endorsed the recommendations and the Department of Health and the HSE will now work to operationalise the updates to the vaccine rollout.
Main image via Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie