Singapore

HSA looking at whether Pfizer vaccine is safe for those aged 12 to 15

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is evaluating whether the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is safe and effective for those aged 12 to 15, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong told Parliament yesterday.

He was responding to a question from Mr Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC), who asked if those younger than 16 could be included in Singapore's Covid-19 vaccination programme. Mr Ng's question follows mounting concern about possible Covid-19 clusters in schools.

On April 30, a 15-year-old student from Edgefield Secondary School in Punggol tested positive, leading to about 1,500 students, staff and external vendors of the school being swabbed.

All tested negative.

Last Friday, a Victoria Junior College student tested positive. More than 2,200 students, staff and vendors, and visitors to the school, have been swabbed.

The results of the tests have yet to be released.

EXPANDED

On Monday, the United States Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorisation for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, allowing it to be used on those aged 12 to 15, widening its original range of ages 16 and older.

Mr Gan said yesterday that in Singapore, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently approved for those aged 16 and older, while the Moderna vaccine is for ages 18 and above.

Mr Gan said initial data provided by both companies when they were granted interim authorisation for use of their vaccines here - under the Pandemic Special Access Route - did not include data on their use in younger populations.

However, supplementary data has since been submitted and HSA is evaluating it.

HSA will do the same for the Moderna vaccine when the data is submitted, said Mr Gan, adding that more details will be shared when they are ready. - THE STRAITS TIMES

coronavirus