More than half-a-million doses of Pfizer vaccine have arrived in New Zealand ahead of the Covid vaccine rollout for children.
From Monday, January 17, children aged 5-11 years old will be eligible to receive the paediatric formulation of the Pfizer vaccine.
According to the Ministry of Health, children need two doses of the vaccine to be fully protected.
“It’s recommended that these are given at least eight weeks apart, although the interval can be safely shortened to a minimum of 21 days if needed,” says a spokesperson.
“A parent, caregiver or legal guardian will need to accompany the child to their immunisation appointment and provide consent for them to be vaccinated.”
Heather Lang, acting senior response officer for the Bay of Plenty DHB Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, says the Ministry of Health recommends immunising your child to keep them safe and to help protect your whānau and community.
This follows Medsafe approval that confirms the safety and efficacy of the paediatric vaccine.
“The vaccine used for tamariki is a children’s version of the Pfizer vaccine, with a lower dose and smaller volume.”
Heather says Medsafe undertook a robust review process of the data provided by Pfizer, which has been trialled in this age group overseas.
“Medsafe only grants approval for a vaccine or medicine once it is satisfied that it has met high standards for quality, safety and efficacy.
“Pfizer’s trial results show that the vaccine produces an immune response in 5-to-11-year-olds similar to that seen in other age groups.”
In the Bay of Plenty, the paediatric vaccine rollout will primarily be delivered through the primary care network – GPs and pharmacies – with Hauora providers also playing a significant role.
Heather says existing Bay of Plenty DHB vaccination sites and facilities will remain in place to support primary care, Hauora providers and continue the wider vaccination rollout and booster programme.
“All schools in the Bay of Plenty DHB catchment have been contacted regarding involvement as potential sites for vaccination clinics and events, and/or the sharing of information with their school community. This work is ongoing.”
Those looking to book a vaccine for their child can use the Book My Vaccine website or call: 0800 28 29 26.
Walk-in vaccinations will be also available, and information regarding vaccination providers, sites and times will continue to be available via: Healthpoint.co.nz