UAE schools are planning for the imminent launch of a vaccination campaign for pupils aged between 12 and 15. This decision followed last week’s approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children of these ages in the UAE on an emergency basis.
Principals believe the move will reassure parents and encourage them to send their children to school.
hundreds of pupils aged 16 and above were given the Covid-19 shot in March and April, .
Now efforts are turning to inoculating the lower age range in co-operation with health authorities and regulators, and some schools want to set up vaccination centers on site.
“More than 42,000 pupils are now eligible for inoculation across the Gems Education network, joining the 14,700 Gems teachers and school support staff already vaccinated,” said Elmarie Venter, chief operations officer at the private company.
“We are in advanced talks with health authorities and education regulators to help in the roll-out of the vaccine for pupils in our schools over the coming days.
“As we did for pupils aged 16 and above, we intend to set up vaccination centers within a selection of our schools to make it as easy as possible for Gems pupils to receive the vaccine.”
While some schools may set up their own centers, others might book appointments for children at government sites.
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention said on Thursday that approval was given after successful clinical trials and assessments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Data on whether the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can be given to children aged between 5 and 11 is expected as early as this summer.
If the trials go well, young children could be vaccinated by the end of the year, BioNTech co-founder Dr Ozlem Tureci said.