Singapore has approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children aged 12 to 15, as COVID-19 cases in the world continue to rise.
Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said Tuesday that parents in Singapore should step up to their responsibility and have their children inoculated, the Straits Times reported.
“I would encourage parents that when the opportunity is available for your children to get vaccinated, not to turn away and deny your children that opportunity for them to get that protection from the virus,” said Wong, a co-chair of Singapore’s multi-ministry task force on COVID-19.
As the number of cases in the country rises, Singapore is encouraging adults and teenagers to get vaccinated. The country’s caseload is limited in comparison to its neighbours, but clusters of 30 to 50 cases a day have been recorded in recent weeks.
The nation has a population of 5.8 million people, and the total number of cases was 61,651 as of late Tuesday.
With a vaccination rate of 22.8 percent, the country has made gains. However, school officials have continued to instruct students to stay at home and link to virtual networks for classes.
Private institutes that specialize in after-school learning are required to remain online until June 13. Public schools must operate online until the end of the school term, according to the Straits Times.
Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said Tuesday that the government is confident about the efficacy and safety of the Pfizer vaccine for children, Channel News Asia reported.
“Teams have assessed that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated high efficacy and safety for this age group of 12 to 15 years old, which is consistent with what we have observed for the adult population,” Ong said.
Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority said the Pfizer vaccine “induced a robust immune response” and demonstrated “high vaccine efficacy of 100%,” citing an ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial.