Rwanda has commenced the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine to children between five and 11 years old, and over two million children are expected to benefit from the exercise.
The State Minister in charge of Primary Healthcare, Dr Tharcisse Mpunga revealed this in a video on social media.
He said, “The government is administering the paediatric formulation of the Pfizer vaccine (10 microgramme/dose), approved by different regulatory bodies including Rwanda Food and Drugs Authority.
“The World Health Organisation has also approved the dosage for emergency use. This particular formulation is administered in two doses at four to eight-week intervals between both doses.
“Vaccinating children against Covid-19 is already ongoing in other countries. The rationale is to protect the wider society from further pandemic impacts by closing the immunity gaps in the population.
“The vaccinating of children 5 to 11 years reduces circulation of the virus in the community and limits the risk of further outbreaks in both healthy people and those vulnerable to severe Covid-19 such as pregnant women and older adults.
“The number of children who got infected or died of Covid-19 remains low. We are encouraging parents who have children within the age brackets of 5-11 years to sign consent documents for the children for them to get vaccinated.
“Vaccination will mainly be done at schools and the Ministry of Health is working with schools to ensure children pick up the consent forms, take them to their parents to sign and return them to schools or at the designated vaccination centres.
Meanwhile, Information from the Ministry of Health indicated that while COVID-19 tends to be milder in children compared with adults, it can make children very sick and cause children to be hospitalized. In some situations, complications from infection can lead to death.
According to statistics from Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC), in the 132,488 cases of COVID-19 reported in Rwanda, children aged 5 to 11 years were 4,358 representing 3.3% of total cases.
Source: New Times