Taiwanese officials announced on Wednesday they will suspend second doses of the Pfizer vaccine to teens due to the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis.
Taiwan officials made the decision after examining US data where teens are still encouraged to take the shot.
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.
The Pfizer vaccine in linked to roughly 75% of the US mycarditis cases reported.
Most of the myocarditis cases reported in the US after taking the vaccine were in teens.