Vaccinating kids against Covid-19 not priority now as they rarely contract severe diseases, says infectious disease expert Prof Adeeba

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 5): Vaccinating children against Covid-19 may not be a priority at the moment as it is proven that they rarely contract severe diseases, said Professor of Medicine and Infectious Disease at Universiti Malaya Professor Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman.

Speaking in an MIDF Conversation virtual session today, Dr Adeeba, however, highlighted that schools could be reopened by implementing various measures, including vaccinating the teachers.

“Although children can get severe diseases, it is extremely rare among them.

“We have to balance that against the side effects of the vaccination on children, and supply of the vaccine.

“Through opening windows, doors and masking, coupled with vaccinated teachers, hopefully that should allow us to open up schools in the near time,” she stressed.

Previously in June, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) top vaccine experts said that immunising children against Covid-19 is not a high priority from the WHO's perspective, given the extremely limited global supply of doses.

“Children are at very, very low risk of actually getting Covid disease,” said Dr Kate O’Brien, a paediatrician and director of the WHO’s vaccines department, previously.

Separately, Malaysia administered a total of 494,214 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine yesterday (Aug 4), up from 483,368 the day before.

Cumulatively, 22.65 million Covid-19 vaccine doses had been administered.

A total of 14.94 million people or 45.7% of the nation’s population had received at least the first dose, including 7.7 million or 23.6% who were fully inoculated.

About 6.07 million individuals or 72% of the total population of the Klang Valley, comprising Selangor, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur, had received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as of yesterday.

Among them, 2.68 million people or 31.8% of the Klang Valley's population were fully inoculated with two doses.

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