Covid vaccine recommended for children under 4 years

They will require three doses

Deborah Condon

February 17, 2023

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  • Covid-19 vaccination is to be made available to children aged between six months and four years from February 20, following a recommendation by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC).

    NIAC has recommended vaccination for all children in this age group, but particularly those with underlying conditions that put them at higher risk of developing severe Covid-19.

    In making the recommendation, NIAC highlighted the safety profile of the vaccine and the comparable immunogenicity seen in older children and adolescents.

    “While serious illness from Covid-19 in this age group is rare, this vaccine offers further protection particularly for children who have health conditions that put them at high risk of severe Covid-19,” commented Dr Aparna Keegan, a specialist in public health medicine with the HSE National Immunisation Office.

    Children in this age group will require three doses of the vaccine with an interval of three weeks between dose one and two and at least eight weeks between dose two and three. The vaccine is a smaller dose than that given to children aged between five and 11 years.

    It is recommended that the Covid-19 vaccine is separated from the administration of other vaccines in this age group by 14 days.

    Community vaccination centres nationwide will commence the roll out of clinics from February 20. Some counties, including Mayo and Donegal, will commence clinics from March 2.

    In line with NIAC guidance and approved by the European Medicines Agency, children in this age group will be offered a Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech) vaccine.

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