DURBAN - THE SOUTH African Paediatric Association (SAPA) has welcomed the approval of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for children over the age of 12. The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) last week approved the vaccine for children 12.
SAPA’s Professor Mignon McCulloch said parents have nothing to be concerned about.
Speaking to Power Breakfast, she said it will bring some sort of normality in children.
“We have seen that the vaccine has been safe for adults and we've come down the ages with the over 18s being allowed to get vaccinated and we are delighted that the 12-18-year-olds have approval. This is also in keeping with what is going on in the rest of the world,” she said.
McCulloch said in China, North America and Europe, lots of children have been vaccinated.
“We are just following the same trends, knowing that it is a safe vaccine. We want to get our kids back to school,” she said.
She added that lots of children are not getting food and are falling victim to sexual and other kids of abuse because their parents are now back at work and they are home without caregivers. She said in some cases, children have lost almost two years of schooling.
McCulloch explained that all the vaccines have undergone international trials in both adults and children.
“The reason for trial are to see if our South African children react differently or if they need the vaccine at different times or to assess how high their anti-bodies are. These are very carefully regulated," she said.
McCulloch said in the UK, the Royal College of Paediatricians have recommended that children aged 12 - 18 with comorbidities, get vaccinated.
She said children will also receive a double dose as part of the trial.