TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said on Wednesday (Nov. 10) that a panel of experts has decided to suspend administering second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT) COVID vaccine to children 12-17 years old amid concerns it may increase the risk of myocarditis.
Cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart) have been reported after BNT vaccination of children between 12 and 17 years of age. According to U.S. statistics, the risk of youths experiencing myocarditis after receiving the second BNT dose is 10 times higher than after the first dose, CNA reported.
Some countries have adjusted their policies regarding administering COVID-19 vaccines to adolescents. For instance, Hong Kong has changed from two doses of BNT to only a single dose for those aged 12-17. The U.K. has done something similar, recommending only one shot for children between 12 and 18 years of age, per CNA.