U.S. to start vaccinating children aged 5-11 early this month
Hong Kong Sinovac vaccination expanded to 3-17 years old
▲ An 8-year-old child receives Pfizer’s new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) vaccine at a hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, USA on the 2nd (local time). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finalized the vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 on the same day. (Hartford/AFP Yonhap News)
As the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) re-spreads despite the high vaccination rate, more and more countries are lowering the vaccination age to increase the number of vaccination recipients. In the United States, the possibility of vaccinating infants under the age of five was raised early next year.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), an infectious disease expert in the United States, said on the 19th (local time) that the COVID-19 vaccine for infants and children under the age of five could be approved next spring.
In an interview with Business Insider, an economic media outlet, Fauci said, “Hopefully, it will be possible early next year or in the first quarter of next year.” However, Director Fauci said that he could not guarantee that infants and young children would be vaccinated, and added the premise that “a clinical trial must be conducted.”
In this regard, Pfizer-BioNtech is currently conducting a clinical trial related to vaccination against COVID-19 for infants 6 months to 5 years old. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Jansen) are in the stage of planning clinical trials for vaccinating infants and toddlers. In the United States, vaccination began earlier this month for children between the ages of 5 and 11.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Ministry of Health approved on the 20th a plan to drastically lower the age of vaccination against China’s Sinovac COVID-19 from 18 years old to three years old, Bloomberg News reported.
Hong Kong’s Ministry of Health issued a statement on the same day, explaining that the benefits of lowering the age at which the vaccine can be administered outweigh the risks. In June, the Hong Kong government extended the age of vaccination for Pfizer vaccines to those over 12 years of age.
The lowering of the age for Sinovac vaccination comes amid a slowdown in vaccination rates in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, which started vaccination in February, the completion rate of vaccination is currently only about 60%. This is far below that of Singapore (80%), which is considered one of Asia’s financial hubs along with Hong Kong.