… NITAG wants more study 

Nima Wangdi

Children between the ages of six months and four years will not be given Covid-19 vaccines for now. The National Immunisation Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) recommended this during the meeting held on July 22.

NITAG recommended more literature review and research to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the vaccine.

The health ministry also has an agreement with Pfizer company to procure 84,000 doses for children in this age group. “The ministry is asked to obtain Emergency Use Authorization from Drug Regulatory Authority in the meantime.”

Likewise, the ministry also plans to administer the first booster (3rd dose) to children between five and 11 years from mid of September until October this year. Vaccines from the government of Slovenia are under the process of discussion including agreement signing.

Currently, the second booster (4th dose) is being given to the priority groups and the general population and has 98 per cent coverage each. The NITAG has also recommended second boosters for all the population above 18 years and they may be provided from the health facility on a fixed day (once a week).

There is enough stock of the vaccine for these populations according to the health ministry.

Records show that, as of July 11, there are 47,600 doses of Sinopharm that expire by March 2023, 80,798 doses of Pfizer (Adult) expiring on September 30, 2022, 249,600 doses of Moderna expiring by November 11, 2022, and 33,600 doses of Pfizer (Pediatric) that expire by October 31, 2022.

The health ministry also asked the general public to get vaccinated at the nearest health facility as per the schedule prepared by the dzongkhags and thromdes.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention approved the Covid-19 vaccination for young children who are at least six months old on June 18.