Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine approved for children aged 12 and older

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Supporting the fight against the virus, the South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA) provided the necessary authorisation for children aged 12 and older to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

According to SAHPRA, the approval is in terms of Section 21 of the Medicines and Related Substance Act 101 of 1965, also known as the Medicine Act.

In a statement, the local drug watchdog explained, “This was as a consequence of the review of updated safety and efficacy information submitted as conditions of Section 21 initially authorised on 16 March 2021.”

In addition, SAHPRA said, Section 21 of the Medicines Act is a mechanism that enables emergency use access and allows it to authorise the use of medicine, subject to certain conditions.

The health products authority adds, “The regulatory decisions of SAHPRA do not translate into a procurement decision, as SAHPRA’s mandate is limited to safety, quality, and efficacy of health products.”

University of KwaZulu-Natal Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Professor Mosa Moshabela, told the SABC there is a strong case for vaccinating children.

“Initially, we thought COVID-19 doesn’t affect children very much from the first wave but that has changed over time.” he said.

Further stating that the burden of the virus has shifted to children, now that more adults are getting vaccinated and are protected. With outbreaks occurring in schools, Moshabela said there’s a solid case to be made for children receiving the vaccine.

With SAHPRA now approving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 and older, what are your thoughts?

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