As Central Asian countries, including Azerbaijan, are exploring the possibility of vaccinating children under 18 against COVID-19, news in Azerbaijan cited Hande Harmanci, Head of World Health Organization (WHO) office in Azerbaijan, informing the public that the WHO would recommend vaccination of children against coronavirus by age group only in presence of the results of relevant clinical trials.
“Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine has been proven to work for children over 12 years old. The committee of European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved the use of the Spikevax (formerly Moderna) COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12-17. This drug can already be used to vaccinate persons aged over 18,” said Harmanci, WHO.
“Despite the fact that children are less likely to develop severe COVID-19 and hospitalizations, there is evidence that children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe coronavirus disease. To fully understand the benefits and risks of vaccinating children, more research is needed to determine the short- and long-term effects of coronavirus disease and vaccine safety performance for children,” the WHO representative added.
Currently, four vaccines approved for use in Azerbaijan, which are Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine BNT162b2; Sputnik V by Gamaleya Institute; Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine AZD1222; and Sinovac-made CoronaVac. A total of about 7.2 million doses of a vaccine against COVID-19 were given by September 4, 2021,
considering a total population of about 10 million people. In order words, about 42.3% of the population is vaccinated as of September 4, 2021, all adults.