Children under 12 with a medical condition such as a congenital heart defect can receive a vaccine against coronavirus from this week, the Dutch health council said.
Around 40,000 children between the ages of five and 11 will be eligible for a reduced dose of the Pfizer or Biotech vaccine, paediatrician and immunologist Emmeline Buddingh of Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) told NOS.
Young children in general are less at risk of serious illness from coronavirus, Buddingh said. ‘But those children who end up in intensive care are children with underlying conditions. Vaccination helps protect these children from rare and severe illness.’
The vaccines will be rolled out to all children under 12 in the second half of January. A gap of at least four weeks will be required between the first and second dose.
The European Union announced on Sunday it had ordered an extra 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine for countries that need extra booster shots, bringing its total stock to 215 million doses.
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