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Taiwan approves Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids 5-11, buys 4 million doses

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children to be administered in 2 doses, 21 days apart

(Healthnews photo)

(Healthnews photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has purchased 4 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT) vaccine and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the jab for children aged five to 11.

Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) on Thursday (April 28) said the FDA has provided emergency use authorization (EUA) of BNT for children aged five to 11. He added the Moderna vaccine for children aged six to 11 will start being administered on Monday (May 2).

Chen told CNA the dose for children would be 0.2 milliliters, which contains 10 micrograms of mRNA, as compared to 30 micrograms in the adult dose. The children's version is to be administered in two doses that are spaced at least 21 days apart. A third dose may be given at least 28 days later for severely immunocompromised children.

As for the recommended gap of 21 days, Chen said the CECC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet again to discuss the possible extension of the interval. After further discussions are held, the recommended interval between vaccinations will be announced, said Chen.

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) emphasized that vaccines, rapid testing, and antiviral drugs are the three most important tools to battle the current outbreak. Su said that Taiwan has purchased 4 million more doses of BNT, including 2.2 million doses for children and 1.8 million doses for adults.