Covid-19: Vaccination of teenagers

The Claim: Zimbabwe will soon be rolling out a massive Covid-19 vaccination of teenagers aged between 16 and 17 following recommendations by the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe and paediatricians.
The Verdict: claim verdict

Zimbabwe will soon be rolling out a massive Covid-19 vaccination of teenagers aged between 16 and 17 following recommendations by the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe and paediatricians.

The recommended vaccine for the group is the Chinese Sinovac while the protocol for the younger age groups is still under consideration.

Some of the countries already vaccinating teenagers

·         In May, this year, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved the Pfizer vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds. Since then, different EU countries have moved at different speeds.

·         Denmark (12 to 15-year-olds) and Spain (12 to 19-year-olds) have both now vaccinated most of their child population with at least a single dose.

·         France has also been moving quickly with 66% of those aged 12 to 17 now single jabbed, and 52% fully vaccinated. By October the country’s health pass – or pass sanitaire – will be extended to under-18s, meaning all teenagers will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test to access places

·         In June Germany’s scientific advisers recommended the vaccine should only be offered to children aged 12 to 15 with underlying health conditions. But in August, after the Delta variant started spreading more widely, the rollout was extended to all those over 12 years old.

·         In Sweden children aged 12 to 15 are only eligible for a vaccine if they have lung disease, severe asthma or another high-risk medical condition. In Norway, not part of the EU, the vaccine rollout was recently extended to children aged 12 to 15, but only a first dose will be offered, with a decision on a second dose to be made later.

·         In June, China began to allow some children from three to 17 years old to be offered shots of a vaccine produced by drug-maker Sinovac, making it the first country to approve a jab for such a young age group.

Latest recommendations of the vaccination of the under 18

·         On November 2 this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech paediatric vaccine.

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