The Pfizer BionTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Adolescents 12-15


The Health Sciences Authority (HSA), in consultation with its Medicines Advisory Committee and Panel of Infectious Diseases Experts, has extended the interim authorisation of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to include use in adolescents aged 12 to 15 years on 18 May 2021.


Further data from ongoing studies show that it is highly efficacious in adolescents with a vaccine efficacy rate of 100% compared to 95% in adults.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccination can help protect your child from getting COVID-19. Early information shows that the vaccines may help keep people from spreading COVID-19 to others. They can also help keep your child from getting seriously sick even if they do get COVID-19.


2 doses 21 days apart


Adolescents seem to react more strongly to the vaccine. Common reactions include: injection site pain, fatigue, headache, chills and fever.

There was a low rate of allergic reactions and an even smaller risk of very severe allergic reactions like anaphylaxis.

There have been reports of Myocarditis or Pericarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle or outer lining) after receiving the mRNA vaccine. This seems:

  • Mostly in young males 12-29 years of age
  • More often after the second dose compared to the first dose
  • Typically within a few days ( under 1 week) after the dose
  • Most respond very well to treatment and only need hospitalisation for a few days and recover well with no longer-term ill effects.
Avoid strenuous exercise for TWO WEEKS after COVID-19 vaccine
The Ministry of Health has advised us to avoid strenuous or physical exercise for TWO weeks, instead of the previous advice of one week,  after receiving the mRNA COVID-19 vaccination. This will mitigate the risk of developing Myocarditis and pericarditis.
During this time, you should seek medical attention promptly if you develop chest pain, shortness of breath or palpitations.
This applies particularly for adolescents and those under 30 years of age.
Myocarditis and pericarditis after vaccination are rare,  and most myocarditis cases are characteristically mild, respond to treatment and recover well.

To put it in perspective, this is exceedingly rare: hundreds of millions of doses of mRNA vaccines have been administered and less than 1000 cases have been confirmed to be myocarditis or pericarditis and investigations are still ongoing to see if they are related to the vaccination. This is in contrast to the much higher risk of death, multisystem inflammatory syndrome and cardiac complications (including myocarditis) from getting a COVID-19 infection. . Young people can also get myocarditis or pericarditis after other viral infections including influenza.

US CDC and Singapore Ministry of Health continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone 12 years of age and older. You are advised not to take part in strenuous exercise for a week following each dose of the vaccine to minimise any risks.

If you are concerned about the vaccine or have any further questions please reach out to your doctor at IMC.


Dr Lim Hui Ling is the Medical Director of IMC and sees patients at our Jelita clinic. She has been with IMC for 18 years. Call 65 3163 4342 to book an appointment with Dr Lim.


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