KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — The first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine under the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme for Children (PICKids) will not be offered after May 15, said Deputy Health Minister I Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali.
He said the deadline was set by the COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force for Children (CITF-C) due to the low take-up of the vaccine which could lead to high vaccine wastage.
“In order to avoid wastage of children’s COVID-19 Comirnaty vaccine that is not used within six months after being released by the manufacturer, a deadline must be set.
“Therefore, from May 16 this year the ministry will no longer offer the first dose of the Comirnaty and CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccines to children aged five to 12,” he said in a statement today.
PICKids kicked off in February and as of Tuesday, only a total of 1,371,120 or 38.6 per cent of children in the country have received the first dose, while 195,865 children have completed two jabs of the vaccine.