COVID-19 vaccination for young children aged 5-11 years will start on 31 January. Children with underlying health conditions will be prioritized in this vaccination drive.
Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, Director-General of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), said the Pfizer vaccine for young children is packaged with an orange vial cap, with each vial containing 1.3 milliliters of concentrated mRNA vaccine, which must be diluted with 1.3 milliliters of 0.9% sodium chloride solution before use. After dilution, each vial can provide 10 doses.
The primary vaccination schedule for children 5-11 years old requires 2 doses, each administered 3-12 weeks apart. This children’s version of the mRNA vaccine can be stored for up to 10 weeks at 2-8 degrees Celsius, after being removed from ultracold storage.
With lower dosages, side effects in young children are reported to be less frequent than in older children.
Common side effects include fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches, and fatigue, as well as swelling and redness at the injection site.
These side effects should go away in 1-2 days. Children will be observed for any adverse events for 30 minutes after the injection.
Dr. Somsak Loraka, President of the Royal College of Paediatricians of Thailand, said the dosage used in young children is a third lower than in adults, and that the vaccine is safe based on real-world studies in several countries.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for young children by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration.