(Reuters) – Some governments have been expanding their vaccination programmes to include children and younger people amid new waves of COVID-19 infections around the world.
However, as many countries wait for doses for more vulnerable people, the World Health Organisation has urged countries and companies that control the global supply of the vaccines to prioritize allocations to the COVAX scheme.
The following is a list of some countries that have approved or are considering vaccinating children:
* The EU’s medicines watchdog on Thursday approved use of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine in 5- to 11-year-olds at a lower dose, after authorising it for children as young as 12 in May. The European Commission will issue a final decision.
* Over 60% of Dutch 12- to 17-year-olds are fully vaccinated according to government data dated Nov. 14.
* France should rule on vaccines for 5-11 year-olds early next year and has started inoculating children over 12 with parental consent.
* Germany will likely offer jabs to children under 12 from early 2022, DW reported https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-digest-germany-to-offer-vaccines-to-children-in-2022/a-59238911, after approving it for teenagers in August.
* The Czech Republic has pre-ordered shots for 700,000 children aged 5-11, Czech Radio https://english.radio.cz/czech-republic-preorders-covid-vaccines-children-under-12-8729172 reported, and Hungary started vaccinating 16- to 18-year-olds in mid-May.
* Estonia, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Spain, Sweden and Finland are offering shots to children aged 12 and over.
* The United Kingdom has opened up vaccination to those aged 12-15, but only for one dose unless they are at high risk or live with someone who is.
* Switzerland approved vaccinating 12- to 15-year-olds with Pfizer’s shot in June, and did the same for Moderna’s jab two months later.
* Norway started offering one dose of Pfizer/BioNTech to children aged 12-15 in September.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Jordan and South Africa are vaccinating children aged 12 and over.
* Israel began offering the Pfizer-BioNtech shot to 5- to 11-year olds on Nov. 22, a vaccine the UAE and Bahrain have approved for emergency use for the same age group.
* Bahrain has also approved the Sinopharm vaccine for children aged 3-11.
* China has approved two Sinopharm and one Sinovac vaccine for children as young as three and its Zhejiang province aims to finish vaccinating 3- to 11-year-olds by December.
* India has approved Cadila’s jab for emergency use in children aged 12 and above but it has yet to be rolled out.
* Hong Kong lowered the age limit for Sinovac’s vaccine to three on Nov. 20.
* Pfizer has applied for Japan’s approval for vaccines for children aged 5-11, while Singapore is expecting its recommendation later in Nov.
* South Korea, the Philippines and Australia are vaccinating children 12 and over, with Australia to start vaccinating younger children from January.
* Indonesia on Nov. 1 authorised the Sinovac vaccine for children aged six and above.
* Malaysia on Oct. 29 said it would procure the Pfizer vaccine for children aged five to 11.
* Vietnam has started vaccinating teenagers aged 16 and 17, AP reported https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-business-health-education-vietnam-9ea049244acb1b062b6ce0df62ef4cc2 on Oct. 27.
* U.S. children aged 5 to 11 were recommended for COVID-19 vaccines on Nov. 2, and as of mid-month nearly 10% of those eligible received their first dose.
* Canada authorized Pfizer’s shot for children aged five to 11 on Nov. 19, days after Mexico said it would start vaccinating 15-year-olds.
* Venezuela is vaccinating children aged two to 11 with the Cuban Soberana 2 vaccine, its vice president said in early November.
* Columbia is offering Pfizer, AstraZenenca, Moderna, Sinopharm and J&J vaccines for those 12 and over, while neighbouring Ecuador is inoculating children as young as six with Sinovac’s shot.
* Brazil’s health regulator said in late October its five directors had received death threats over its possible approval of vaccinations for children over five, after it approved Pfizer’s shot for 12-year olds in June.
* Argentina https://bit.ly/3miSiCD is vaccinating children as young as three with Sinopharm’s shot while Chile and El Salvador https://bit.ly/30RiKe7 began vaccinating children aged 6-11 in Sept.
* Costa Rica has made COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for children aged five and above.
* Cuba, which is administering vaccines to children as young as two, aims to fully vaccinate 90% of its population by December.
(Sources: Press releases, government notices and Reuters reporting)
(Compiled by Sarah Morland, Valentine Baldassari, Olivier Cherfan, Juliette Portala, Caleb Davis and Laura Marchioro in Gdansk; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Bernadette Baum)