Can Children Get the Covid-19 Vaccines?
(Updated March 31, 2021) The Covid-19 vaccines are currently available for adults and older teenagers only, leaving concerned parents with questions for their kids.
18 January 2021
Find out if your child is of eligible age for a Covid-19 vaccine in the UAE...
The Coronavirus vaccines available in the UAE are considered safe for most people, with both the Pfizer and Sinopharm shots being reported to have an efficacy rate of over 80 per cent. While they're available for free on a voluntary-basis for many residents and Emiratis, there are a few important groups absent from the list, which includes children.
Previously, anyone under the age of 18 were not allowed to receive a Covid-19 vaccination, but as of January 17th the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP) lowered the minimum age down to 16 years old.
As of March 2021, the Pfizer vaccine has been confirmed "100 per cent effective on 12-15 year olds" after thousands of Phase 3 trials were carried out on adolescents in the United States. However, the minimum age for the Pfizer vaccine has not been lowered down to 12 years old in the UAE as of yet.
Why was the minimum age 18?
The minimum age to get vaccinated against Coronavirus used to be 18 because there was not enough testing done on children.
Testing for children has just been rolled out, along with adolescents, so there is still a lot of unknowns.
When can my child receive a vaccination?
If your child is 16 years old and above, he or she can receive a free vaccination.
For more details on how and where your child can get their vaccine, click here.
For parents with kids who are below 16 years old, it may be a while before a vaccine will be ready for children as most trials are only just getting started.
The company behind the Pfizer vaccine began tests for children aged 12 and older in October 2020. The Moderna vaccine (not available in the UAE) began trials for children aged 12 to 17 in December 2020.
In March 2021, trials on over 2,000 adolescents in the United States found that the Pfizer vaccine is 100 per cent effective on young teens aged 12 to 15.
The Sinopharm vaccine has been deemed safe for children aged between three and 17, reported Chinese state media.
"It should be noted that for three to five-year-old children, because their immune system is still developing, they must be carefully and closely monitored during vaccination,” said Yang Xiaoming, chairman of China National Biotec Group Company, the developers behind Sinopharm.
However, the UAE ministry hasn't lowered the minimum age for the Sinopharm or Pfizer vaccine as of yet. The minimum age to get vaccinated against Covid is still 16.