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21 Jan 2022

21st Jan 2022

        The Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination (EC19V) recommends to extend booster vaccination to adolescents aged 12 to 17 years. Persons aged 12 to 17 years should receive a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech/ Comirnaty vaccine (30 micrograms), as long as it has been five months or longer after the last dose of their primary vaccine course.

2.     Local and international data show that vaccine protection against COVID-19 infection in adolescents aged 12 to 17 years wanes with time, even if protection against severe illness remains robust. As with adults, waning of protection against infection is observed for adolescents by six months (or earlier) after their last dose of vaccine, but more gradually when compared to adults.

3.     Data has also shown that booster vaccinations increase the protection against infection by the Omicron variant, which appears more transmissible than previous variants, and has caused COVID surges in many countries. Booster vaccinations may also confer more robust protection against future variants of concern that may emerge from time to time.

4.     The safety profile and side effects of a Pfizer-BioNTech/ Comirnaty booster dose are comparable to that of the first two doses. Local and international data also indicate that the risk of myocarditis with a booster dose is comparable or lower than for the first two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech/ Comirnaty vaccine.

5. Considering the benefits and safety profile of a booster vaccination dose, the Committee recommends that adolescents aged 12 to 17 years receive a booster dose (30 micrograms) of the Pfizer-BioNTech/ Comirnaty vaccine as long as it has been five months or longer after the last dose of their primary vaccine course, and to get the booster dose as soon as it becomes available for them.

EXPERT COMMITTEE ON COVID-19 VACCINATION
21 JANUARY 2022