The United Arab Emirates on Monday approved the use of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 3 to 17.
The decision of the Ministry of Health and Prevention came after a trial involving 900 children in Abu Dhabi.
The Emirates would be among the first countries to vaccinate under 12s.
Health chiefs have already taken steps to ensure that as many citizens as possible are protected from the virus.
In May, the United Arab Emirates urgently approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 years after successful clinical trials and evaluations.
The United Arab Emirates are not alone in seeking to immunize children to stem the spread of Covid-19.
The National examines the comprehensive approach to immunizing children during the pandemic.
China approved the emergency use of the Sinovac vaccine for people aged 3 to 17 on June 3. tests have shown the vaccine could trigger an immune response in children aged 3 to 17, and most side effects were mild.
The country approved China’s Sinovac vaccine for children ages 12 to 17 on June 28.
The city-state expanded its vaccination schedule on June 1 to include people aged 12 to 18.
Hong Kong began distributing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to children ages 12 to 15 from June 11. Officials said the vaccine would initially be offered to around 240,000 children as part of a campaign to boost immunization rates.
In June, Japan announced plans to vaccinate children ages 12 to 15 against Covid-19 during school summer vacation.
Japan’s health ministry lowered the minimum age for Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine to 12 years the previous month.
The Philippines decided on May 26 to release Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for emergency use in children aged 12 to 15.
One of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic is expected to start immunizing children this month, its health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said.
India has battled an increase in Covid-19 infections in recent months, which has threatened to overwhelm its health services.
The New Zealand medicines regulator has approved the use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for 12 to 15 year olds, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on June 21.
U.S. regulators cleared the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 in May, in a step considered crucial to allow schools to reopen safely.
US President Joe Biden called the decision “a promising development in our fight against the virus.”
Canada approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 12 to 15 on May 5.
The Central American nation with a population of over 127 million on June 24 approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 12 and older.
Brazil – which has recorded one of the world’s highest number of cases of around 20 million to date – authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people aged 12 and older on June 11.
Chile approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 12 to 16 year olds on May 31, after granting emergency clearance for its use in 17 year olds in December 2020.
Paraguay administers the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to children aged 12 to 17 with underlying health conditions.
Israel began vaccinating 12 to 15 year olds with the drug Pfizer-BioNTech in June as part of one of the fastest vaccination programs in the world.
Initial data from 200,000 vaccinated Israeli children released last month indicated that the vaccine had no major side effects and almost none in general.
However, the report says more data is needed with a larger sample to draw firm conclusions.
European Union countries
Denmark began administering Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to children aged 12 to 15 in July.
France started vaccinating people aged 12 and over in June, provided they have parental consent.
Germany announced Monday that it will start offering coronavirus vaccines to all children aged 12 and over.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn said the country has enough vaccines to cover all age groups.
Austria aims to vaccinate more than 340,000 children aged 12 to 15 by the end of the month, according to the news site Vindobona reported.
Estonia vaccinates children aged 12 to 17 with the drug Pfizer-BioNTech with the aim of vaccinating large numbers before schools resume in September.
Hungary started immunizing children aged 12 and over in June, after administering the vaccine to the 16-18 age group from the end of May.
Italy agreed to vaccinate children aged 12 to 15 with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in June, while regulators approved the use of the Moderna vaccine for those 12 to 17 at the end of last month.
Lithuania Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said the country could start immunizing children from the age of 12 in June, according to a news site Delfi reported.
spain Health Minister Carolina Darias said in June that the country aims to start immunizing 12 to 17 year olds about two weeks before the start of the new school year in September.
Countries outside the EU:
The UK said children at higher risk of Covid-19 infection would be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine but the majority of children would not be immunized.
The decision was made after a review by the United Kingdom’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization.
He recommended vaccinating children between the ages of 12 and 15 if they are at higher risk of Covid due to factors such as profound learning difficulties, severe neurological disorders and a severely weakened immune system.
Switzerland approved the vaccination of 12 to 15 year olds with the drug Pfizer-BioNTech on June 4.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has recommended that 16 and 17 year olds be offered a vaccine, as soon as everyone over 18 is fully immunized. A final decision is expected next month.
San Marino offers vaccination to children aged 12 to 15, San Marino RTV reported, citing its Social Security Institute.
Updated: Aug 3, 2021 3:00 a.m.