Coronavirus: Singapore

KKH recruiting children aged five to 11 for vaccination trial

A trial on rolling out the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine among younger children in Singapore has started recruiting participants.

In a Facebook post yesterday, KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) said that it is conducting a study to assess how children here respond to Covid-19 vaccination.

In order to be eligible to participate, the children must be between five and 11 years old, have had no previous Covid-19 infection, and be intending to get their Covid-19 vaccine jabs.

"The data gathered from this study will help inform public health vaccination policy to protect children against Covid-19. Volunteers will be provided with reimbursement," said KKH in its post.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Monday that there has been a lot of interest from parents on children's vaccines after the United States Food and Drug Administration recently authorised the use of the vaccine for this age group.

The Expert Committee on Covid-19 Vaccination will make a recommendation on whether to extend the Pfizer vaccine to children aged five to 11 in the second half of this month, he added.

The vaccination trial is aimed at facilitating operations to roll out the vaccine at scale, and assessing the suitability of a small dosage - one-third of the regular dose - for children here.

Singapore recently inked a supply agreement with Pfizer for its paediatric vaccine meant for children aged five to 11, Mr Ong said on Monday at a press conference of the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19 here.

The vaccine has a different formulation from the regular one. While it uses the same mRNA ingredient as the vaccine for adults, a different buffer solution is used so that it can be stored under more conventional cold chain requirements.

This will also make it easier to draw the required amount of vaccine from the vial.

• Those interested in having their child participate in the KKH trial can complete a short screening questionnaire at https://str.sg/3GVF to check their child's eligibility.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2021, with the headline 'KKH recruiting children aged five to 11 for vaccination trial'. Subscribe