16 to 18-year-olds can now get the COVID-19 booster shot in Indonesia

A high school student getting her COVID-19 jab. Photo: Instagram/@aniesbaswedan
A high school student getting her COVID-19 jab. Photo: Instagram/@aniesbaswedan

Indonesia’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) has authorized the administration of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine as booster shots to children aged 16 to 18, making this the youngest age group eligible for a third dose in the country.

Effective immediately, the age group can now receive a 0.3 ml dose of the vaccine, named Comirnaty, which is one of the most commonly used on older age groups.

Indonesia began its booster shot drive for the general population, aged 18 and above, in early 2021. The country has also kicked off a second round of booster shots — the fourth jab overall — starting with inoculating medical workers this month.

Children aged 6-15, who have been eligible to receive two primary doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, have yet to be authorized for booster shots.

That said, the eligible age for booster shots will likely continue to go down. Recently, the Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI) said it has advised the government to begin administering booster shots to children as young as 11, declaring that the vaccines available in Indonesia are safe for younger children.

Protecting children from COVID-19 is especially of paramount importance given that the new academic year has just begun and that schools are allowed to fully reopen throughout the country.

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