Rwanda launches Covid-9 vaccination drive for 5 to 11 year old children

The Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Health has launched a Covid-19 vaccination campaign for children aged 5 to 11 as part of the country’s ongoing efforts to eradicate the Covid-19 pandemic.

The campaign which runs from September 2022 to January 2023 seeks to close immunity gaps in the population, reduce circulation of SARS-CoV-2 in the community and limit the risk of further outbreaks in both healthy people and those vulnerable to severe covid-19 such as pregnant women and older adults.

Children will receive two doses of Pfizer Vaccine Pediatric formulation (10 microgram/dose) as approved by different regulatory bodies including Rwanda FDA and approved for Emergency use by World Health Organization.

While COVID-19 tends to be milder in children compared with adults, it can make children very sick and cause children to be hospitalized. Among the 132,488 cases of Covid-19 reported in Rwanda as of September 18th 2022; Children aged 5 to 11 years were 4,358 representing 3.3% of total cases. Moreover, the role that young children play in transmission within households remains difficult to estimate because of their high prevalence of asymptomatic infection and the changing transmissibility of new variants.

Rwanda achieved the World Health Organization (WHO) target of vaccinating 40 percent of the entire population by December 2021 with 7,587,808 Rwandans aged 12 years and above (60 percent of Rwanda’s population) having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of December 31, 2021. Over 5,364,026 people received two doses, while 111,681 people received booster shots. (End)