Cameroon plans to vaccinate the 12-15-year-olds against Covid-19 with the Pfizer vaccine, on a voluntary basis. "Children aged 12 to 15 will benefit from the vaccine on a voluntary basis, as well as other members of the population," said the permanent secretary of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), Dr. Shalom Tchokfe Ndoula.
On December 5, the country received 152,000 doses of the vaccine via the Covax initiative. The US lab claims that a phase 3 clinical trial in children aged 12 to 15 years showed high efficacy (100%) and a satisfactory safety profile in this age group. "This led to an extension of the age indication from 16 to 12 years," the World Health Organization (WHO) says. In a previous statement, WHO said the vaccine could not be given to those under 16.
According to WHO, data indicate that adolescents, especially older ones, are as susceptible to transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19, ed.) as adults. The institution, therefore, recommends that countries consider administering the vaccine in children aged 12-15 years only when high vaccination coverage with two injections is achieved in the high-priority groups that have been identified in the WHO Roadmap for Priority Setting.
The organization particularly recommends vaccinating children aged 12 to 15 with co-morbidities that put them at "significantly" higher risk of developing a severe form of Covid-19. Many Western countries such as the United States and France have been vaccinating adolescents for several weeks. This is the fourth vaccine that will be used by Cameroon in its Covid-19 vaccination campaign.