Israel approves Covid shots for youngest children

AFP

2 min read
A child receives a dose of the Covid vaccine at a vaccination center in Jerusalem, on December 21, 2021.
Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90A child receives a dose of the Covid vaccine at a vaccination center in Jerusalem, on December 21, 2021.

Vaccinations by Pfizer and Moderna approved for children aged six months to four or five years

Israel's Health Ministry approved Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccinations for its youngest children, an Israeli official said Tuesday.

The Israeli approval follows the US Food and Drug Administration granting in its June emergency authorization for Moderna's vaccine for children aged six months to five years, and Pfizer's shots for those between six months and four years old.

A handful of other countries and territories including Argentina, Bahrain, Chile, China, Cuba, Hong Kong, and Venezuela were previously offering Covid shots for toddlers, but those did not include mRNA vaccines, regarded as the leading technology for the purpose.

On July 1, a letter by Israeli Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash, sent to AFP, noted two hearings held by a ministry panel, in which Pfizer and Moderna data on the "mild" side effects and efficacy rates were presented.

Video poster

All members of the expert panel agreed the vaccines were safe, with most of the panel "recommending to vaccinate at-risk babies and children, and to enable the vaccination of children who are not at risk," Ash wrote.

In light of the recommendation, Ash decided "to enable the administering of mRNA Covid-19 vaccinations by Pfizer and Moderna to children aged six months to four or five years," he said. 

Over six million Israelis have received at least two Covid vaccination shots, including 17 percent of the country's children aged 5-11, which up to the latest approval had been the youngest group eligible for inoculation.

This article received 0 comments