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Malaysia Approves Pfizer Vaccine for Children Aged 5 to 11


Thu 06 Jan 2022 | 05:34 PM
Omnia Ahmed

Malaysia approved the use of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine for children aged between five and 11 years old, the health ministry announced on Thursday.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the country's drugs regulator has also cleared a vaccine made by Chinese firm CanSino Biologics to be used as a booster shot for adults over the age of 18.

Last week, Malaysia cut waiting times to encourage more people to take a booster jab in order to stem the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant.

The country has one of the highest vaccination rates in Southeast Asia. Most of its population has received two doses of the vaccine, including nearly 98 % of adults and 88 % of those aged between 12 and 17, according to government statistics.

The minister noted that Malaysia has reported 245 Omicron cases, the majority of which were Muslim pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia. Hence, the country will temporarily suspend all religious trips to Saudi Arabia for a month from Saturday.

On January 3, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pfizer boosters for 12- to 15-year-olds amid the omicron surge.

In a release, the FDA said it has amended the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine to children as schools reopen after the holiday break.

It also shortened the time between the completion of primary vaccination of the Pfizer vaccine and a booster dose to at least five months, instead of six.

“Authorizing booster vaccination to take place at five months rather than six months may therefore provide better protection sooner for inpiduals against the highly transmissible omicron variant,” the FDA stated.