Pfizer new pediatric COVID-19 vaccine
Pfizer new pediatric COVID-19 vaccine vials are seen in this undated handout photo. Image Credit: Reuters

Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia’s Food and Drug Authority approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 on Wednesday, local media reported.

The authority’s decision was based on data provided by the company that shows the vaccine meets special regulatory requirements.

“The results of clinical studies indicated that the vaccine is safe and has given a strong immune response to children between the age of 5 and 11 years,” the statement said of the Pfizer shots, the Saudi FDA said.

Over 46 million vaccine doses have been administered in the Kingdom so far, with 70 per cent of the population being fully vaccinated with two shots, according to the Health Ministry.

Two days earlier, UAE approved the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine for emergency use for the same age group.

Before this decision the only vaccine that had been approved for use in very young children in the UAE was Sinopharm, which was approved for ages 3-17, with Pfizer shots being available to children above 12.