Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Public Health Dr Jemilah Mahmood has said she hopes that the Ministry of Health (MoH) will approve the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those under the age of 18.
Her comments come after Canada became the first country in the world to authorise the use of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in adolescents aged 12 to 15 yesterday.
In a tweet, Dr Jemilah said that those under the age of 18 also are at risk of contracting Covid-19, and that including this group in the national immunisation programme would help Malaysia achieve herd immunity.
“This is great news! I pray @KKMPutrajaya NPRA will also approve this. 30 per cent of our population is under 18 years of age. To achieve herd immunity this is an important group who are also at risk of infection,” she said in a tweet.
Supriya Sharma, a senior adviser at the Canadian federal health ministry, was quoted by UK’s Guardian newspaper as saying yesterday that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was safe and effective in the younger age group.
The two-dose vaccine is the first to be greenlighted for use in that age group by Health Canada, the country’s drug regulator.
The Guardian also reported that the US Food and Drug Administration is expected to take a similar step “very soon”. MM